Review: Casa Patas Flamenco, Karen Lugo’s The DeMente Territory

Courtesy of Casa Patas

A female Flamenco dancer with black, fitted pants; a violin player with a Mohawk; abstract movements accompanied by silence; a woman playing guitar; mundane acts performed with hairpins and earrings. “The DeMente Territory” was not a traditional evening of Flamenco at Le Lycee Francais de Los Angeles’ Theatre Raymond Kabbaz. Partnering with the Consulate General of Spain, the 220-seat, intimate Kabbaz presented a forward-reaching Flamenco ensemble from Madrid’s Fundación Conservatorio Flamenco Casa Patas for a two-night run, beginning Nov. 8.

The first clue of the unconventionality to come was the eclectic musical troupe. Violinist Víctor Guadiana sported a Mohawk; one of the two female singers wore deadlocks. Though her heartfelt singing straddled tradition, her wails and cries screamed defiance. The Norwegian guitarist Bettina Flater stood out for just being female. Apparently, only one other woman makes professional rounds in Spain. It’s not often I can identify a particular Flamenco tune, but I immediately recognized the words of popular Cuban singer Silvio Rodríguez. His inclusion suited the rebelliousness of the evening. Rodríguez leans Left. Revolutionary politics inspire many of his lyrics.

The entire company, including director and choreographer Karen Lugo and her dancing partner José Maldonado, exuded fresh-faced energy. …

Read full article on Culture Spot LA

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