To his legion of admirers worldwide, charismatic solo flamenco dancer Israel Galvan is an avant-garde genius who has taken the art form to a new level of showmanship. To his detractors, Galvan is the most irritating man in Spain with his flamboyant posturing and self-indulgent spectacles.
Both sides, however, acknowledge that Galvan's mastery of flamenco's lightning speed and intricate footwork place him among the top flamenco artists in the world. Galvan has never found satisfaction as a traditional flamenco dancer. Rather, he has been a maverick and a revolutionary who's transformed flamenco puro into something that is both intensely personal and very contemporary.
Galvan performs 21st-century nuevo flamenco that is dramatic, exciting, complex and highly creative. His show La Edad de Oro (The Golden Age) finds him alone on stage with the Lagos brothers, singer David and guitarist Alfred.
What follows is 75 minutes of flat-out dancing with Galvan setting aside the conventional clichés of flamenco with his innovative approach to rhythm. He drums his feet and clicks his fingers, but he also beats out the rhythms on his body – on his chest, his navel, even his teeth. Love him or hate him, the guy is mesmerizing.
Compania Israel Galvan tours to Ottawa (Mar. 18), Vancouver (Mar. 22-23), Toronto (Mar. 29) and Montreal (Mar. 30)