Presented by the Charo Cala Flamenco Company, Matemáticas de lo Jondo Redux is a heady mixture of Flamenco, Flamenco inspired contemporary dance, poetry and film. It uses as its backdrop, the surrealist influenced experimental film Tríptico Elemental de España (1953-1982/1995) by the extremely interesting Granada-born film-maker, José Val del Omar. Among other things, Tríptico is an exploration of visual rhythm—pulsations, repeating loops and undulations—lending itself naturally to a fusion with music and dance. The addition of choreography, takes the visual imagery out of the confines of the flat screen, something Val del Omar was keen to explore in his work.
Practically everything about this production is really superb. The dancing (Charo Cala and Antonio Amaya) is of the highest standard, with Cala in particular being exceptional. She is technically brilliant, full of passion and has remarkable control, owning every movement no matter how slight. The singers (Javier Allende and Gregorio Garcia) are also outstanding, and everything is accompanied by the fantastic Seville composer/guitarist Fernando María, whose relaxed demeanour belies the music’s difficulty. As an ensemble, they are completely together in a way which is rare to find, as if they express themselves from a common breath.
When the live performance converges with the projected images, it works very well, for example the juxtaposition of Cala’s overflowing white shawls with images of fountains in Granada. However, sometimes the connection isn’t as obvious as this, and the flickering images can become a little distracting.
The main difficulty is the venue. Central Hall, although a beautiful space, is really too large for this performance: it needs to be more intimate. The hall is also very reverberant and the sound of the dancers’ intricate steps and the performers’ palmas get lost and muddled in the large space, although a beautiful and poignant solo by Javier Allende is breathtaking in this acoustic.
Difficulties aside however, there is so much to this, it would certainly be worth going to see it more than once: it has real creative depth and a great deal of power.