Kati Garcia-Renart performed with the Glens Falls Symphony.
Flamenco is not known for its subtlety. But as performed by Kati Garcia-Renart and Nicole Bernhardt with the Glens Falls Symphony, the quieter lacy delicacy of the art was brought to the fore.
The artistic choice was likely so that the ferocious flamenco footwork would not overwhelm the orchestra that performed with the two, playing compositions for dance by Manuel de Falla. It’s the first performance of the symphony’s 2019-20 dance-inspired season that will also include music for ballets and Irish step dancing. Based on Sunday's concert, at their home base in the Glens Falls High School, there is much to eagerly await.
For its first music-dance concert, music director Charles Peltz also invited the elegant mezzo-soprano Tascha Anderson who enthralled in the de Falla repertoire. It was an impressive program.
Of course, you all know I’m not a music critic. Therefore I have never had the pleasure of experiencing the wonders of the Glens Falls Symphony. Under Peltz's baton, the orchestra is good and absolutely worth the modest price of admission. The addition of the dancers, however, elevated the musical showcase.
Both dancers were lovely, appearing as physical mirrors of each other, something one hardly ever sees in flamenco as the art is often centered on a single artist soulfully dishing out emotions.
This thoughtful, choreographic take on the music and dance pull the relationship between the two into a harmonious and respectful direction – each wanting not to take full command, but rather to work solely to honor the art of de Falla.
Garcia-Renart appeared first in a solo. Wearing a red flamenco dress, full skirt to the floor with the style’s trademark ruffled hem, she seemed at first to be too careful, tinged with a touch of nervousness. As she relaxed into “Danza de Molinero,” she let her upper body sink into the song. Her undulating torso glowed as her arms wrapped her wavy frame in filigree.
In “El amor brujo,” she and Bernhardt were together onstage. Dressed in black and white, they drew from modern dance to embrace de Falla and the symphony graciously, helping them elude to the tales in the suite of songs.
Anderson’s presence, leaned against a grand piano, watching with interest was equally mesmerizing. Slender and wearing a red gown, she radiated glamour. And when she opened her mouth, the sound was divine. Surely, she has an extraordinary career ahead of her.
As for the dancers, they whet my curiosity for more. I’d love to see them unleash their full power, untethered and untamed.