Review: Explosion by Compania de Flamenco at the Grand Pavilion, Matlock Bath

Compagna de Flamenco presents Explosion.
Compagna de Flamenco presents Explosion.

Flamenco is the marriage of dance to music, wooing, seducing and winning the hearts of those who fall under its spell.

It’s the master of passion, the mistress of enchantment and a powerful aphrodisiac for anyone who enjoys movement and rhythm.

A more dazzling display of this Spanish art form would be hard to find than the theatrical show Explosion, which Compania de Flamenco is touring in England for the first time.

Its mastermind is award-winning choreographer Jay Markwick, a performer capable of doing for flamenco what Michael Flatley did for Irish dance.

Standing ovations follow the company from town to town, the latest was at Matlock Bath last night (Saturday, April 25) where this dazzling show wowed a large audience.

The acoustics in the echoey hall of the Grand Pavilion were perfect for the drumming of feet to uptempo and, at times, very loud music and rhythms. Jay’s fantastic footwork had such fiery force that you could feel the vibrations from the stage.

Time and time again, he charmed the crowd with dynamic displays featuring flair, finesse and flamboyant flourishes, aided and abetted by female lead Victoria Gujarro Hernandez and a company of supporting dancers.

Much of the show spoke the universal language of love through dance, but conversely there were edgy episodes of conflict. Jay saluted the casualties of war in a show-stopping performance using a walking stick as a percussion aid, followed by the company interpreting the rhythmical sound of gunfire in a cleverly choreographed routine.

Ballet steps and a dash of street dance were added to a night of variety in which there were elements of grand opera from a sensational singer, a nod to pantomime’s battle between good and evil in a beautifully-costumed scene and live music from an awesome violinist.

Vibrant dresses and an ever-changing backdrop of moving and static images enhanced the enjoyment of this polished presentation.

Fiesta fever swept through the Grand Pavilion even before the show began when three couples from the audience tested their Spanish dance moves in front of the stage.