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Review: Sara Baras: Alma at The Sydney Opera House

Review by Cynthia Ning

There were heavy rains forecasted for Sydney, but that did not stop excited ticket holders to see one of the greatest flamenco dancers in the world from Spain perform at the iconic Sydney Opera House in the newly upgraded Concert Hall.


It was a packed show and there was buzzing excitement throughout the theatre. With a hush, the lights dimmed into darkness, and we hear a lovely voiceover in Spanish as we are introduced to the all-female dance troupe wearing suits gliding across the stage to their respective microphones. The opening is reminiscent of an intimate cabaret routine using the prop as their partner revealing a combination of strength and sensuality in feminine masculinity by claiming the stage with their presence.


The backdrop of the gold fringe curtain was seductive and enticing as it hid the live band from view. The lighting gave a dramatic effect with spotlights directed by Sara Baras, who made her spectacular appearance through the curtain and mesmerised us with her body movement and remarkable footwork. The costumes were formfitting with flowing skirts that the dancers lifted to show their steps. Subtle use of sparkle and pops of bright colour elevated each routine and highlighted the performer's facial expressions of moments of happiness and passion.


The live musicians accompanying the dancers did not miss a beat with featured singers Rubio De Pruna and Matías López “El Mati” delivering with power from the soul. The audience was watching a love story unfold before our eyes with desire and intensity with each step and each song. The veil is finally lifted to reveal the outstanding musicians performing traditional songs, showcasing flamenco torque by their talented guitarists Keko Baldomero and Andrés Martínez. Sara Baras shared her love with the audience by frequently blowing kisses at us after a spectacular routine and proceeds to show her stamina and endurance with hypnotising spins with long fringe shawls becoming an extension of her body.


There was pure joy when everyone was dancing, and they would mix and match partners before synchronising their steps together to form a beat that the musicians then follow. It was absolutely insane to see how the drummer was trying his best to keep up with Sara Baras during her solo routines as the audience cheered her on. Bravo to the entire cast for putting on a marvellous night out, we could feel and see the dedication in keeping this vibrant part of Spanish history and culture alive by sharing it with others.


Luckily after the show, it seemed that the rain had stopped. I believe there was a bit of magic from the flamenco dancers to part the clouds again.


This is truly a unique experience for anyone who is an avid dancer and interested in immersing themselves in a Spanish cultural experience, go and get tickets to see Sara Baras: Alma.

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