Some things are just not meant to go together. For example, fish fingers and custard are not a good combination and yet for a certain person from Gallifrey they work so well together. Another example is Breakdance, Flamenco and Hip Hop, three dance styles that definitely should not appear on a stage at the same time, right? Wrong as was proved at The Peacock Theatre where Rojas and Rodríguez production of “Titanium” is having its UK premiere.
On paper, the Flamenco, Breakdance and Hip Hop have nothing in common. Flamenco is a very structured form of dance known for its emotional intensity, proud carriage, expressive use of the arms and rhythmic stamping of the feet, whereas both Breakdance and Hip Hop are more loose and free-wheeling in their delivery. And yet, all three types of dance were born in the streets as a form of personal self expression. The various dances manage to communicate something to the audience and this fusion of them really delivers an electric and totally spellbinding ninety minutes of sheer entertainment.
The show started very gently with a single masked dancer moving across the stage tethered by ropes, trying to break free from conformity and the shackles of dance ‘rules’. The other dancers try to assist and in releasing the man, find themselves tied up but working as a group, they are able to break free and take over the stage with their various styles. The show builds from this start and the beauty of the Flamenco dancers (Carlos Rodríguez, Angel Rojas, Cristian Garcia Ballesteros, Pol Vaquez) with their intricate movements and dazzling footwork are soon combined with the hip hopers (Fran Eliu, Iker Karrera and Sergio Melantuche) in a form of competition in which the two sets of dancers try to outdo each other before being joined by the B Boys (Eihu Vazquez, Omar Fraile, Juan Pablo and Trejo Frias) who are almost the baddies of the piece as they perform amazing feats of body dancing on the stage. All of this is accompanied by original music by Hector Gonzales Sanches, supplied by Paco Cruz, Karo Sampela and Roman Gottwald along with truly superb vocalist Juan Debel.
Choreographers Rojas and Rodríguez working to a philosophy of finding a different way of understanding movement using people, the stage, lighting and sound and they have really excelled themselves with “Titanium”. Although there was no interval in the show, nobody noticed as all eyes and ears were fully focussed on the breathtaking tour de force in front of us. I thought I had seen Flamenco before whilst on holiday in Spain. I very quickly realised that I had may have seen a version but had never before experienced the sheer intensity of this dance. Likewise with Breakdancing, I have seen youngsters having a go round the South Bank Centre but that was nothing compared to the absolutely stunning display of body popping and movement that I was mesmerised by. Dance, music, vocals and lighting, every single element came together perfectly to form a perfect whole that will forever dispel the myth that you can’t successfully merge such different dance style.
I have given you my interpretation of the movement and I’m sure other audience members may have reached a different conclusion on the story they saw. Just about everyone was on their feet at the end applauding wildly and deservedly. This amazing show has to be one of the most fantastic nights of dance it has ever been my pleasure to experience.
Review by Terry Eastham
Flamenco duo Ángel Rojas and Carlos Rodríguez present the UK premiere of an unprecedented fusion between flamenco and street dance at The Peacock on Tuesday 5 – Saturday 23 May. Titanium sees a troop of 13 men take to the stage, dancers and musicians, fusing the rich dance heritage of flamenco with the rawness of hip hop and break dance culture. The show has won a National Dance Award in Spain and received high praise in a tour across Europe.
Titanium features a multi-talented dance cast of three flamenco dancers, three hip hop dancers and three break dancers including Elihú Vázquez; Vázquez is the nine-fold winner of the b-boy championship of Andalucía, and was part of Spain’s winning team in Battle of the Year 2005, the most important annual international b-boy competition. The dancers are accompanied by a live band of four, mixing flamenco with hip hop beats.
This is Rojas and Rodríguez’s most ambitious production to date and aims to offer audiences a new perspective on the commonality between the cultures of flamenco and break dancing. Both styles share a history of improvised movement, dance battles, live music and communality. The show therefore acts as a homage to two vibrant and historically rich dance traditions both born and lived in the streets.
Rojas y Rodriguez TITANIUM TRAILER
Rojas and Rodríguez
Tuesday 5 – Saturday 23 May
Tues – Sat at 7.30pm / Sat matinee at 2.30pm / Sun at 2pm / Sun 17 at 2pm and 6pm
Thursday 7th May 2015