Perfect is not a word often aligned with flamenco due to the nature of the art form, characterised by spontaneity and rawness. Yet perfect is exactly how one might describe the dance of Olga Pericet. She is flawless: a twirling, beating, melting, lunging sculpture of a flamenco doll. Every alignment, transition, rhythm, and turn is spot on. Her balance is faultless.

© Paco Villalta
© Paco Villalta
Marco Flores is her seamless companion. The couple are utterly in tune with each other’s dance: two bodies become one harmonic structure. Any series of movements could be a set of pristine photographs. The playful banter of footwork between them is like that of Indian dancer and tabla player's question and answer spell. Such rhythms are rarely executed between two dancers and their footwork choices are intelligent.

Paso a dos is exactly what it claims to be – a Spanish pas de deux or dance for two. Pericet and Flores’ body control through space and time is as harmonious as a classical pas de deux, but with a Spanish flavour. The show is also innovative. Traditional structures are broken, pauses and timings are played with and contemporary dance movements weave organically with perfect Spanish body placement.

Their impeccable dance is not without expression. Their feeling initiates from the soul and travels through their bodies. It ends, however, in perfect alignment every time. They are never lost in the dance to the extent that their performance is raw, wild or edgy.

This is not a criticism but an observation of what is expected from a flamenco performance today. Any dancer that can perform a double vuelta de pecho (upside down turn) landing with one foot still in the air and oozing that leg into the next movement is an absolute master of body movement and balance. And both dancers here are capable of such mastery. So why are we left a little untouched by this perfection?

Well, we are not wanting for long! The subtle strings of the guitar introduction of Pericet’s Solea dance draw us in repeatedly like waves to a shore. The rawness of song and fullness of guitar is just wonderful. Clad in an Indian sari/long-trained flamenco dress, Pericet slowly twists, curves and stirs the powerful music. The interweaving of musicians and dance is choreographically alluring and at last we feel the pull of true arte flamenco.

Overall, it’s rare to see short and precise main footwork sections within a show billed as flamenco. The lengthy footwork sections with little attention to upper body guilty of many modern productions are absolutely obliterated here, and a welcome relief. In this sense, the show is true to tradition and yet avant-garde in its choreographic approach. Olga Pericet and Marco Flores are both thoughtful choreographers, exceptional dancers, and a perfect Spanish duo.

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