This DVD represents one of the first releases from a brand new label presenting opera and ballet productions from the Teatro Real in Madrid. Wisely they have divided the initial releases between standard opera productions and those celebrating the seventy fifth birthday of the great Spanish choreographer, Antonio Gades. This present DVD presents two productions, the first Bodas de sangre, is based upon Federico Garcia Lorca's play, Blood Wedding, and tells the harrowing story of a bride, who on her wedding night runs away with her former lover, the groom follows them and when he catches them, in the ensuing fight both men are killed. The intensity of the storyline is mirrored in the dancing which is a combination of modern ballet and traditional flamenco steps.
The second offering on the DVD is the Suite Flamenca, in which Gades has taken a series of seven traditional flamenco dances and gives them a more modern appeal. This does not mean that the intensity of the original is watered down, `Riverdance' this isn't, rather, this is flamenco for the ballet stage! It works remarkably well, and is an hour of pure enjoyment.
Throughout both works the dancing is wonderful, whether it be the soloists or the ensemble it cannot be faulted, with Gades choreography perfectly displaying the intricacies of the flamenco moves. The musicians are also excellent throughout, with the use of traditional flamenco singers and guitarists an inspired decision. You get the impression, especially in the Suite Flamenca, of how much the performers enjoyed performing the works, and this enjoyment is infectious, as I will be enjoying this DVD for years to come!
The documentation and extras on the disc are also excellent, this is a wonderful introduction of a new label, and if this is going to be their standard, I look forward with anticipation to future productions. Highly recommended!