Freelancer and aspiring journalist from Adelaide. Visual Arts graduate & current journalism student. Fashion, lifestyle, entertainment, art & food. I also write for The Adelaidian // theadelaidian.net/author/georgina-tselekidis
A mesmerising showcase of flamenco dance and music
The Adelaide Guitar Festival braces South Australia until August 14, which will see an array of acclaimed musicians celebrate the world's most popular instrument. Curated by internationally renowned Australian guitarist, Slava Grigoryan, this four-day musical soiree will offer diverse genres to suit everyone's tastes, including rock, jazz, folk, classical, experimental, blues and Latin sounds.
Over the weekend, Adelaide was blown away by the Andalusian sounds of Bandaluzia, who captivated the crowd with their powerful and vigorous performance inspired by contemporary and traditional flamenco. As guests filled the room, ambient lighting instantly established an emotive atmosphere that enhanced their lively act. Bandaluzia's flamenco guitarist Damien Wright instantly lured us in as he softly plucked away at his guitar, creating soothing sounds that transitioned into a dynamic experience. Alongside Damien, Ben Hauptmann on mandolin, James Hauptmann on percussion and leading dancers Jessica Statham and Rosalie Cocchiaro surpassed expectations with an exuberant show that had my feet moving from the get go.
Highly melodic, their Latino fusion music transported us to the bustling streets of South America or Spain, with musicians and flamenco dancers busking and whisking passersby away. Likewise, an Arabic and Orient flair is evoked by the obvious weaving of musical influences that Bandaluzia are known to combine, forming a rich harmony of alluring melodies and infectious rhythms. As we sat back and watched Bandaluzia work their magic, it was easy to feel immersed by the strong yet delicate acoustics that filled the Space Theatre. Although it was difficult to shift focus from their illuminating set that had everyone gasping in awe, their ability to create a calming environment was easily achieved. I could feel myself closing my eyes, taking it all in at once yet still absorbing every moment as I listened to every last chord strung.
To heighten the energy from the mere sounds of the musical instruments, the two dancers passionately took the stage with an outstanding act. Traditional flamenco moves, as well as contemporary elements made a visceral impact by the accompanied music as well as the lighting that changed swiftly to compliment the dancers' steps. As they stomped and tapped at the ground whilst twisting and turning swiftly into thin air, the crowd was hypnotized with every move, cheered on by the other members who clapped away to enhance this street-style feel that really encapsulates what the Guitar Festival is all about - quality music, culture and talent.
Bandaluzia managed to create a romantic, passionate yet vibrant world in a short time. As they played for the crowd, you could simultaneously see and feel their intense connection with what they do and the music they happily play. Each musician and dancer worked together on stage to create a visually pleasing showcase of flamenco music and dance; a sensory exotic experience that was abundant in energy and vivacity.