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Exciting Program by Solera Flamenco

TIMES DANCE CRITIC

Adding unusual rhythms, musical instruments and movement vocabularies to the already rich mix of influences that makes up traditional flamenco, Yaelisa and her San Diego-based Solera Flamenco Dance Company gave an exciting, accomplished performance Tuesday in Bovard Auditorium at USC.

Wearing a long, sleeveless dress for the spectacular solo “Contratiempo . . . a la luz de la luna,” Yaelisa danced with intricate, passionate mastery to guitar, sitar and exotic percussion, her bare arms blooming from her undulating torso with a life of their own: curling upward toward the light and then withering away.

She looked more conventionally indomitable in the sustained anguish of “En la Cueva del Corazon” and more unstintingly flamboyant in the exultant showpiece “Contrastes"--but never more exquisitely sensitive, never more unique.

Guest artist Roberto Amaral brought his dramatic attacks and restless shifts of impetus to two contrasting solos: the gutsy “Viva Cadiz” and the elegant, brooding “Embrujado,” both executed strongly. Amaral’s supercharged theatricality can grow excessive in intimate spaces such as the Fountain Theatre, home of his Fuego Flamenco series; in a large hall such as Bovard Auditorium, however, he definitely seemed in his element.

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Dancing with Amaral and Yaelisa in “Tanguillo Cubano,” Valeria Pico capitalized effectively on high-velocity footwork and galvanic hip action.

Periodically featured in solos of their own, the distinguished accompanists included guitarists Pedro Cortes Jr. and Jason McGuire, singers Isa Mura, Antonio de Jerez and Jose Manuel Blanco “El Grillo,” plus Afro-Cuban percussionist Jesus Diaz.


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