This coming week, the annual Madridanza festival will kick off at the Suzanne Dellal Center in Tel Aviv. Placed within the program of the center’s Hot Dance Festival, Madridanza brings the best and brightest Spanish performances to Israeli audiences. Every season, the festival is met with a buzz of excitement, which can be perceived in sold-out shows night after night, leaving no doubt that flamenco is a local favorite. As flamenco dance and song are hard to separate, the festival brings both singers and dancers to the stage in a over a week’s worth of dramatic, uptempo performances.

Madridanza’s third edition brings three major productions to Israel: Titanium by flamenco bad boys Rojas and Rodriguez; The Way to Sing Flamenco by lawyer turned singer Maria Toledo; and Adali by Spanish Dance Company Aida Gomez.

“Adali” is the Gypsy name for Madrid. In this piece, Gomez explores classical as well as unconventional themes in flamenco and Spanish dance. Gomez is a technically trained performer, and her long limbs bring a regal touch to each scene. For this work, Gomez is joined on stage by fellow star dancers Christian Lozano and Eduardo Guerrero, as well as nine musicians. Lozano and Guerrero served as choreographic partners to Gomez throughout the three-month creative process for this, her latest work.

Gomez is a well-known figure in Spain, having served as artistic director of the Spanish National Ballet for 13 years. She was the youngest artist to ever hold the prestigious post. Prior to taking on the position, Gomez was the prima ballerina of the troupe. She has performed countless times in Europe, North America and in Israel. In 2001, she broke away from the Spanish National Ballet to pursue her own, independent voice.

In a recent interview with The Jerusalem Post, she explained that the move was propelled by a desire to reach “artistic maturity.” To Gomez, flamenco is much more than a dance or singing style. “To me,” she said, “flamenco is a way of life, a philosophy.”

Since leaving the Spanish National Ballet, Gomez has collaborated with a number of renowned artists, such as Carlos Saura. Her previous productions include Salome, Duendes (Fairies) and Sueños (Dreams).

Celebrated flutist Juan Parrilla composed the music for Adali.

“The inspiration for Adali came from a feeling that I wanted to do a project with music by Parrilla,” Gomez said.: “Then there are the two amazing dancers, Lozano and Guerrero. We’ve worked together for so long. I wanted to show the world good Spanish dance with quality and soul. It has been very magical.”

In Adali, Gomez moves between classical Spanish images and contemporary ones. At times, clad in the familiar flowing dress, fringed shawl and thick-heeled shoes, Gomez stomps around the stage with stark precision. At other times, she is hoisted into the air by Guerrero and Lozano while barefoot and in undergarments. And, of course, the nine musicians of Adali enjoy many moments in the spotlight.

This will be Gomez’s second tour to Israel, but the first with her troupe. “I visited Israel to perform at Suzanne Dellal in 2010. I am very excited to return, this time with my company,” she said.

Adali will close the Madridanza festival on July 21 and 22 at the Suzanne Dellal Center in Tel Aviv. For more information, visit www.suzannedellal.org.il.

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