Many years ago, long before I knew I’d become a Flamenco dancer and share its magic with my own audience, I watched the film Carmen by Carlos Saura. In this post, I’d like to share with you why it’s such a wonderful film and why I’m sure you’ll be interested in watching it too.
Watch the video or keep reading below.
Every time I see the film, it mesmerises me and I feel this magical excitement because of the passion, the mystery, the powerful dancing and unbelievably gorgeous music.
You might know the original opera by Georges Bizet or one of the many works inspired by it, for example Carmen Jones, which was an Oscar Hammerstein musical and later made into a film, or The Car Man by Matthew Bourne. And you may know its iconic music such as the Habanera, the Seguidilla or Los Toreadores.
The Carlos Saura film shows us how a Flamenco dance ensemble puts on a danced reinpretation of the famous opera. But it’s also in itself a retelling of the original story, because the lines between real life and fiction blur when the choreographer casts the role of Carmen and the story begins to parallel that of the opera.
The film features Antonio Gades and Cristina Hoyos, two very famous Flamenco dancers who brought a wide audience in touch with the art form. They, Laura del Sol, who plays Carmen, and the ensemble deliver incredibly exciting dance scenes, spectacular ensemble numbers, but also poetic, expressive solos and duets that ooze with emotion and passion. The film also features Paco de Lucia, probably the most famous Flamenco guitarist of all time. He fuses the iconic opera music with the Flamenco guitar and it’s some of the must beautiful music you’ll ever hear.
Did you know?
It’s unbelievable to me that this magnificent story and music that has inspired so much more beautiful work and is loved by audiences all over the world up until today, didn’t strike a chord with its first audience. At its premiere, the Paris audience booed and mocked the opera and Bizet, the composer, sadly died shortly after and never found out about the later success.
Where can you watch the film online?
Unfortunately you can’t stream the film anywhere or listen to the soundtrack, which is terribly sad, but you can order the DVD online and you can listen to other stunning Flamenco music. Try the “Flamenco Puro. 100% autentico” playlist on Spotify and improvise to it in your own dance style. I’m sure it’ll inspire you.
And also, create your own video about what moves you inside and out. It feels good to put what you love and why into words, to articulate your passion and to share it with others. And last but not least remember to connect with me on Instagram. Let’s share our love of dance.
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