Back in the dark ages of 1955 to 1961, I attended the Muriel Carr dance school in the North East of England where a fellow student was Wayne Sleep. Of course, he went on to be a principle dancer with the Royal Ballet and I went to the disco! I have however never lost my love of dancing and one of my favourite pastimes is to watch a musical that includes dance routines from the likes of Bob Fosse, Jerome Robbins and Gene Kelly. I was therefore pleasantly surprised to find on moving to Tenerife that the incredible Carmen Mota shows have been performed at the Piramides de Arona in Playa de Las Americas for the past 15 years.
Having seen four of the shows, you can imagine my disappointment to learn this week that the final curtain descends on Alma and as yet, I have no idea if a new show has been lined up as a replacement.
Previous shows have combined one half of dance with a second half of a play centred around dance but in Alma the accent is all on the dance itself. For nearly two hours, 30 dancers in stunning costumes display a variety of Spanish dance styles with contemporary and traditional flamenco moves. Although the show has stunning costumes, fantastic lighting and the precision footwork has to be seen to be believed; I enjoyed the storyline of the previous shows more.
My favourite has to have been Romeo in Love the first I saw at the Piramides. Based on Romeo and Juliet or probably more Westside Story as it featured modern dress and motorbikes.
Next came Esencia de Amor, like Romeo, the first half of the show combined modern Spanish dancing with more classical and traditional flamenco the second half was a comedy based on an opera by Donizetti. Essentially a love story filled with highs and lows, unrequited love, a rival marriage proposal and of course, a happy ending.
Then along came Airam (read it backwards … Maria) based on the Blake Edwards film Victor/Victoria. Set in 1940s Andalucía, it featured a young flamenco dancer in a plot filled with love triangles, intrigue, passion and lots of humour.
It has to be said flamenco isn’t for everyone but several of the shows have played to over 100,000 people so while there are obviously some folk who will run a mile there are plenty who find it irresistible
As to the future, can we look forward to more stunning shows? The Piramides de Arona is one of the largest theatres in Europe and can seat almost 1900 spectators, perfect for Broadway-style musicals in which case, I hope we will get to see Fuego! (Spanish for fire) that blends the old traditional flamenco with a big Las Vegas production and the music of Karl Orff and Dire Straits. Just gotta keep hoping!
All of the images are from the internet as it is forbidden to take photos or videos, obviously, only some of us obeyed the request!!