Loco Motion

Ruth Eshel – Haaretz – 2.3.2009

Had the program not been studded with Israeli names, it would have been possible to think "Remangar" was a Spanish flamenco performance. The directors of the troupe, Keren and Avner Pesach, studied and danced in Spain for 10 years with Los Farruco, one of the most famous flamenco families in the world.

Recently they returned to Israel and opened a flamenco school at Kibbutz Ramat Rachel near Jerusalem. They have called the troupe and the performance "Remangar" (Spanish for rolling up, like a sleeve), and it combines power, speed, strength, virtuosity and improvisational ability.

There are 13 performers onstage, wonderful singers with tremendous voices, raw with the power of emotion, who call storytellers to mind. It is hard to believe that singer Yehuda Shweiki's gaunt and fragile frame can produce such power – his whole body becomes a sound box.

Alongside him are good guitarists, a powerful female singer, a palmas expert in the art of hand-clapping, eight professional female dancers and the Pesachs, who are soloists.

This is pure traditional flamenco at a high level. There is no sugar-coating – neither in the design and color of the costumes nor in the external appearance of the dancers, whose body structure is not like classical dancers.

The quality of the movement is spiced with gypsy wildness, energy that is compressed into the body and a moment before the eruption, the energy is suddenly truncated by a sharp, dry movement or a pirouette that strangles it into a memory.

This is a game with time, which can be used to increase the tension and be released before the explosion.

The dancing is direct, kicking, raw and at the same time carved out with the control of experienced artists. There is no doubt that Israel now has a place for professional and high-quality Spanish dance.

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