Barcelona-born Jesús Carmona, a former principal dancer with Ballet Nacional de España, promised a mix of modern ballet with traditional flamenco in Ímpetus, a show shaped by new interpretations of classic Spanish music. A strong opening number had his company dancers spotlit individually behind a screen, mirroring Carmona in front of them as he combined undulating armwork and whipping balletic spins with furious zapateo.
The most experimental moment was a barefoot ballet-flamenco pas de deux that rather fell into the trap of diluting two styles by combining them. But, despite its billing, the evening was in large part firmly in traditional flamenco territory, with Carmona demonstrating both astonishing strength as he hammered out his blisteringly fast footwork, and a touchingly profound rhythmic relationship with his cantaor, the extravagantly bearded Juan José Amador.
Ana Agraz, Águeda García and Marta Gálvez provided a strong female presence, swapping a large red shawl between them for one all-woman routine. Later, Angel Reyes and Cristian García joined Carmona for an intense flamenco face-off, each picked out in their own spotlight. Carmona’s extended solo, surrounded by his musicians, was exhilarating – for some reason, the show didn’t end there, though, and a segment with the dancers milling about rather aimlessly took some of the fizz out of proceedings. Carmona’s night was undermined somewhat by its disjointedness.