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Last night I saw one of the most extraordinary performances I have ever seen, in any genre, at the Z Gallery in SF. Soledad Barrio, whom I have long called a genius, along with her choreographer husband, Matin Santangelo, and their troop, Noche Flamenco performed Antigona, based on the tragedy by Sophocles. It was the first dramatic work in history with a female lead. Santangelo turned the text into flamenco lyrics (letras) and began work with Soledad in 2010. With its theme of a strong woman confronting a totaltarian state and patriarchy, it is timeless, and particularly timely. Eugenio Iglesias and Salva de Maria on guitars were brilliant, Hamed Traore on bass and electric guitar added exotic color and modernism, and Manuel Gago, Pepe "El Bocadillo" and Emilio Florido sang with passion and duende. Our own local Marina Elana was part of the wonderful dance troop. Many attempt to modernize or expand flamenco (sweatshirts and jeans were popular a few years ago in Spain) but the fusion of Greek tragedy and flamenco is seamless in the hands of Santangelo and Barrio.
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