HomeliveAbout 'VIVA!', by Manuel Liñán, in the New York Times.

About ‘VIVA!’, by Manuel Liñán, in the New York Times.

Marina Harrs writes this amazing piece about Manuel Liñán’s last creation, ‘VIVA!’ for The New York Times. 

“Flamenco being what it is — a centuries-old music and dance that developed out of the collision of cultures in southern Spain — what follows is as surprising as it is refreshing. A performance executed entirely in drag, by Mr. Liñán and six extraordinary male dancers, wearing colorful dresses and the fringed shawls known as mantones, hair done up with peinetas (decorative combs) and flowers. While one dances, the others accompany with songs, exhortations and palmas, the rhythmic clapping of hands.

The show, which was to come to the New York Flamenco Festival at City Center in early April — the festival has been postponed by the coronavirus — represents something new to mainstream flamenco audiences: a frank and joyful exposition of queer identity within the frame of flamenco dance. For Mr. Liñán, who is gay, dancing has become a way to express who he is. As he put it, “my dancers and I are dancing ourselves.”

“Viva!” has been widely embraced by audiences and critics since its premiere, in 2019 in Madrid. The critic in the Spanish daily El País, Roger Salas, described it as “one of the best things happening in this critical moment in flamenco and Spanish dance.” Such a reception seems unimaginable even 20 years ago”.

Read the full piece here.

Photos by Camila Falquez

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