Let Mercedes Ruiz dance for you if you get the chance

Cia. Mercedes Ruiz presented “Déjame que te baile” (“Let me dance for you”) as part of the 2017 Flamenco Festival at Sadler’s Wells.  Mercedes Ruiz is one of the most renowned Flamenco dancers of Jerez and she claims her new piece is a declaration of love to the audience.

The performance started at least 10 minutes late.  However, the show went on until 9.10, giving us the promised 90 minutes without an interval.  If you go to the festival, you will find that this is very common – at least 90 minutes without a break and starting late, so plan your loo visits accordingly!

This production featured Mercedes Ruiz and her company.  She had one guitarist, one percussionist, two singers (both called David!) and two men for clapping!  I kid you not.  The ninety minutes seemed to fly by and that is not always the case.  I recommend her unreservedly if you get a chance to see her.

After the Israel Galván in the first week, it was for us like moving from the ridiculous to the sublime.  Classical Flamenco at its very best.  She was very good, even when she did what was traditionally a man’s dance where she demonstrated strong stamping.  The guitarist was good too and the two singers.  I preferred David Lagos to David Carpio because the latter’s voice seemed a bit whinier to me.

Mercedes had a new outfit for every dance.  She started in pale blue with white lace sleeves and bodice, quite a full skirt with self-coloured ruffles, for the Milonga-Garrotín.  Then a matador suit in a red material, complete with little jacket, for the male dance, Martinete.  Then a white dress with a pink lace overtop, like a shawl but permanently in place, and a train of at least 3 feet for the kicking around for the Alegrías.  Then a black crushed velvet dress that seemed quite straight but which had a deceptively full skirt as Flamenco dresses often do, with long sleeves and a high neck at the front but a plunging back, fringed with a deep surround of golden lace, again like a shawl, for the Soleá.  Finally, for the fiesta a dress with red flowers and layers of frills around the skirt – and a proper shawl for dancing with.

Suffice it to say, she can dance for me anytime!


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