"It is the beat of my heart" 

José Porcel’s Ballet Flamenco makes their Savannah debut

LAST YEAR, THE LUCAS THEATRE TRIED SOMETHING a little different. They booked a touring dance production called Tango Buenos Aires — a 20-piece group of musicians and dancers performing fast-paced Argentinian tango. According to the Lucas' Managing Director Meaghan Walsh, the concert went over like gang-busters.

“We wound up selling 850 tickets,” she relates. That’s almost 80 percent of the historic theatre’s total capacity.

“When that did so well, we felt there might be a strong audience here for that type of performance,” adds Walsh. And so, the Lucas’ Executive Director Ken Carter kept an eye out for another event that might appeal to the same demographic. That’s when he came upon Ballet Flamenco.

Led by international dance sensation José Porcel, the critically acclaimed stage show is “a dazzling company of flamenco dancers, musicians and singers.”

“There’s a full dance troupe along with a group of live musicians that travel with them,” Walsh continues. “There are lots of costume changes and plenty of different settings for the choreography. It’s an all-around show.”

click to enlarge Jose Porcel's Ballet Flamenco
  • Jose Porcel's Ballet Flamenco

The performance features eight different segments. Each highlights a unique aspect of flamenco, while incorporating contemporary music.

“There are many dance companies that meld flamenco with modern dance or ballet,” explains Porcel. “I lean more towards traditional flamenco yet add different musical elements, contemporary costumes or traditional costumes with a contemporary flair.”

In a show like you will see in Savannah, Porcel says, “the majority of it is choreographed, but some parts are left open for improvisation.”


Here's a bit of what audiences can expect from the upcoming Lucas Theatre presentation of Jose Porcel's Ballet Flamenco:


Walsh says although she’s heard from many people who seem very excited about the upcoming recital, she’s dismayed that so far, ticket sales have been very slow.

“Frankly, they’ve been very disappointing,” she admits. “We’ve sold just over 100. A lot of last year’s tickets for Tango were sold in the final few days, but whenever the Lucas presents a show like this, we’re always putting ourselves on the line. I would say to the public, if this sounds interesting to you, please show up. It will have a very real impact on whether or not we take the financial risk on shows like this in the future. Between money and the election, a lot of us are in a kind of holding pattern right now. However, anyone with a valid SCAD ID can buy up to eight tickets to this show for only $10 each. So, if they wanted to bring family or friends, it’s very affordable.”

Regardless of turnout, Porcel is quick to point out that even if he was not playing 54 shows across the U.S. and Canada on this outing alone, he can think of nothing else he’d rather be doing than dancing.

“I cannot imagine my life without flamenco,” he muses. “It is my soul, it is the beat of my heart, not just a job or a career or something like that. It is my life.” cs

The full Porcel interview can be found here.

Ballet Flamenco José Porcel

When: Sat., 8 pm

Where: Lucas Theatre

Cost: $30 - $20 ($10 w/SCAD ID)

Info: 525-5050, lucastheatre.com

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