Review - Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Co in Espejo de Oro

presents the world premiere of Espejo de Oro / Mirror of Gold
featuring the company with special guest artists from Spain
continues to Sunday, November 28 at Fleck Dance Theatre, Toronto

The essence of Flamenco is passion restrained by elegance, the stylized movements adding grace to its expression just as the rhythm adds definition to the music. That's just what the Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company delivers in Espejo de Oro in a performance that goes well beyond the traditional and folkloric.

The solid basis for the show begins with live music. The piece itself begins with a trumpet player who walks on stage, soon joined by two guitarists and two singers, and then the dancers who enter and leave in their turn. The set is dramatic, splashed with blue and red lights and projections at the back that glowed like stained glass or spun like a kaleidoscope (among other effects). The piece uses elements like the titular mirror, large and paned like a French door, where dancer/choreographer Juan Ogalla poses, almost challenging his own reflection.

The choreographic vocabulary goes beyond its origins in Andalusian folklore towards interpretive and expressive contemporary dance, with the piece unfolding in a series of segments. The musicians play on stage, sometimes only voice (or two voices,) and sometimes the singers interact directly with the dancers. I don't speak Spanish (more's the pity) but it sounded like a riveting story.

Juan's performance is taut and powerful, and the several ladies were graceful, sexy and proud in solo, duo and ensemble pieces. The costumes were gorgeous - I want one! The dance passes by on the stage a swirl of colour and emotion that includes the musicians and singers - a show that's definitely worth braving a stiff wind off the lake to get to the theatre.

Photos by John Lauener
• L-R - Niño de Elche, Esmeralda Enrique, Manuel Soto; Guitarists in back ground. José Valle "Chuscales", Nicolás Hernández
• Esmeralda Enrique, Manuel Soto; Guitarists in back ground.  José Valle "Chuscales", Nicolás Hernández
• Juan Ogalla
•  L-R - Ilse Gudiño, Angela Del Sol, Juan Ogalla, Esmeralda Enrqieu, Noelia La Morocha

Toronto Artists:
Esmeralda Enrique: Artistic Director, Choreographer, Dancer
Dancers: Paloma Cortés, Ángela del Sol, Ilse Gudiño, Noelia La Morocha:
Nicolás Hernández: Musical Director, Composer, Arranger, Guitarist

International Guests from Spain:
Juan Ogalla from Cádiz: Choreographer, Dancer
José Valle "Chuscales" from Antequera: Composer, Arranger, Guitarist
Niño de Elche from Elche, Alicante and Manuel Soto from Jerez de la Frontera: Extraordinary singers who join the company for the first time.

Flamenco has shaped my life's history.  It is my great passion.  Through flamenco I find truth, beauty and goodness.
- Esmeralda Enrique

ESMERALDA ENRIQUE SPANISH DANCE COMPANY presents the world premiere of
Espejo de Oro / Mirror of Gold choreographed by Esmeralda Enrique and Juan Ogalla
part of Harbourfront Centre's NextSteps 2010-11
Thursday November 25 - Sunday, November 28, 2010
Saturday at 8 PM, Sunday at 3 PM
Harbourfront Centre's Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queen's Quay West, 3rd Floor
Tickets: $25-$41 (Discounts for students, seniors, CADA and NextSteps subscribers)
Box Office:  416-973-4000 or visit