When Jazz Meets Flamenco ★★★ Sadler's Wells | November 26 & 27, 2021


The show started late without explanation or apology, and when the meeting of Jazz and Flamenco took place, Jazz failed to show up. Karen Ruimy sang several old favourites like "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'," "La Vie en Rose," and "Stormy Weather," but even the arrangements failed to meet our criteria to be considered jazz. We'd been hoping for an interesting fusion of the two dance styles, but that was not to be. A lot of the show was Ruimy's song stylings, and she sang in English, Spanish and French. With a band of six plus two backup singers and two dancers interpreting some of the songs there was a lot of support for Ruimy as she presented the charming old standards. There is also a strong Flamenco component to the evening. Francisco Hidalgo did a fine job in some impressive solos and in partnering Ruimy in various numbers. Francisco Blanco, who acted as the cantaor, shone in his accompaniment to some of the selections, and the guitar accompaniment set a fine tone for this part of the show. This is a production designed to highlight the talents of its star, Karen Ruimy, and it certainly does so. Unfortunately for us, the whole experience did not really live up to the promised theme of the title. Despite that caveat, it certainly met the expectations of many audience members who loudly expressed their enjoyment of the evening.

Rated: ★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Ryan Howard.

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