C (VENUE 34)
FOR Guillem Alonso and Roser Font, tap shoes aren’t just an item of footwear, they’re an instrument. Every tap of the toe or click of the heel is in perfect synchronicity, creating the main melody to a backing of sweet Spanish guitar.
This show was a sell-out success in New York and Chicago recently, and it’s easy to see why. Alonso and Font are hugely likeable, with stunning technical precision and a brace of jaunty smiles that are never allowed to flag.
Performing a range of solos and duets, with and without the guitars, the duo are the Fred and Ginger of the Spanish dance scene. One minute their style is pure Hollywood golden era. Then, with a sudden flash of showmanship, their flamenco roots shine through.
At one point, Alonso slowly pours a bag of sand on to the stage – an almost hypnotic vision underneath a spotlight. Then, bathed in red light, he scrapes his feet through the sand, producing a whole new set of sounds. Both dancers produce percussive rhythms with their hands, hitting their legs, chests and faces in comic unison.
With Alonso and Font making such fine music with their feet and hands, the classical guitars could easily be rendered superfluous. Yet Alejandro Pérez Gràcia and Roger Raventós are an act in themselves.
These virtuoso guitarists play their instruments with such skill and tenderness, you never want them to stop. Taking several well known works, from Rodrigo’s famous Aranjuez, to Latin and jazz pieces, they put their unique stamp on everything.
Surprisingly, given the company’s roots, there is none of the seriousness of flamenco here.
Alonso and Font are out to have a good time – and make sure you do, too. All four performers join in a fun moment of audience participation, during which most of us fail to get to grips with even a simple simultaneous hand clap and ‘olé!’ Proving just how talented and well-rehearsed the quartet on stage truly are.
Until 27 August. Today 5.15pm
- Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This article: http://living.scotsman.com/performing.cfm?id=1232022007
Last updated: 07-Aug-07 10:26 BST