The Sabores show of Sara Baras on DVD clearly demonstrates her underlying technical brilliance, a real class act. You can tell by the costumes, which she designs herself, no splashy frills, garish polka dots or too-tight bolero jackets. Instead she favours chic pastel cocktail gowns and elegantly tailored suits, all of which hang perfectly.
Sara Baras is no traditionalist, her music is in nuevo flamenco style and she cuts her flamenco cloth to suit the proscenium stage, but she is a stickler for correctness, her arms curving perfectly, her footwork mathematically precise. She demands no less of her company, comprised of eight superbly disciplined dancers – who maintain strict unison through the most complex rhythms – and two consummately skilled guest artists, Luis Ortega and José Serrano.
Highlights of this DVD include the darkly glittering Soleá and the guest artists’ solos, Ortega’s rattling castanets offsetting the clean lines of his limbs in the Siguiriya, and Serrano drumming up a storm with his footwork for the Alegrías. But the centrepiece is undoubtedly Baras’s solo Martinete, a dance form inspired by the hammering rhythms of the blacksmith’s forge. Accompanied by the guttural, wandering voice of a singer and the spare pulse of a percussionist, Baras evokes both power and effort in her coiling torso. When the music stops, she balls up the energy to stillness, then unleashes it in astonishingly controlled footwork, ranging from concrete-cracking drilling to light, tinkering taps.