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  • Writer's pictureYumi La Blanca

Dance as a Joyous Sacrifice - ‘The Rite of Spring’ by Israel Galván

Israel Galván is a genius - that’s what many of us say after seeing his performance, but maybe he’s fed up with being treated like the Nijinsky of flamenco, as the innovator of the genre. It’s almost become a cliché.

In fact, we don’t really know suitable wording for his talent. Flamenco alone doesn’t quite define his whole artistry, and after experiencing his ‘La Consagración de la Primavera (The Rite of Spring)’ at Sadler’s Wells, I felt that he is a distinctive genre called Israel Galván.

It was as if his dancing style suits the turbulent and undefinable music of Igor Stravinsky more than any of the traditional flamenco palos. Through playful movements and provocative percussion with his own body as well as various unconventional instruments, he orchestrated the complex score together with the two pianists, Daria van den Bercken and Gerard Bouwhuis. Israel Galván always dances as if he’s playing with invisible artistic spirits, connected through the universe, and this time he might be dancing with the hovering soul of Stravinsky.

Inspired by ‘The Rite of Spring’ which became a sought-after theme by dancers after the sensational ballet premiere by Nijinsky in 1913, Israel also used other additional pieces, ‘Sonata K87’ by Domenico Scarlatti and ‘Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues’ by Frederic Rzewski. He looked as if he was being driven by the music and rhythm themselves rather than telling a story usually associated with this title. His body lines and movements were vulgar and elegant, primitive and avant-garde, funny and intimidating, bizarre and impressive, all at the same time - just like the score of Stravinsky itself.

Squeezing out his living energy through continuous dancing, he showed us that his dedication to dance is the sacrifice to feel the joy of life. Like some of his other projects, I could feel the smell of death as a trigger to live life at its full.

‘La Consagración de la Primavera’ took us to the Spanish style of springtime at the end - la Feria. Dancing is a way to feel the joy of life. To us, the joy is that we live in the same era with the talent of Israel Galván. 

La Consagración de la Primavera


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