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Hemen zaude: Hasiera Hemeroteka Aukeran: Extremely fascinating

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Aukeran: Extremely fascinating

Arts and Mind

Leonor Goguingco
The Manila Bulletin Online

The dance program commenced with four goodlooking and virile males and six voluptuous but sleek females. Costumed in billowing white handkerchief skirts with vests of loosely woven net, the dancers moving as one, displayed intricate and complicated fleet foot-works while keeping their bodies erect and energetically curling and uncurling their arms. They hypnotized the audiences with their pounding and rhythmic dancing.

While all these were happening, pattern after patterns of lights were projected onstage, on the audiences, on the scrim camouflaging the energetic musicians. All of these added an extra fillip to the proceedings. A light and sound extravaganza, an intense kinetic and kinesthetic experience – it made one want to stand and move with the dancers. It left the audience virtually spellbound.

After the dancers bore sticks that they manipulated, twirled and used to pound the floor further underscoring and elaborating on the basic rhythm they initially used.

Then a huge caped figure with a large snake on top of his headdress appeared and glided on stage. The sticks the dancers carried was seen to be attached to the back of this fantastic figure who, subsequently disappeared.

What proved most significant was the impression that Basque traditional movements were later made into classic ballet steps: Pas de basque, tour en l’air, cabrioles, grand battlement, and jete battus. Also noted were modern dance movements that were incorporated into the dance sequences.

The instrumentalists played on the harmonium, the flute, the Basque bagpipe dolcina and the drum and they sometimes played alone – presumably to give them an opportunity to show their own pyrotechnic and to give the dancers a chance to catch their breath and to change their costumes.

When the male dancers came back onstage, they had a duel with poles slightly reminiscent of the "Arnis." The dancers also used the poles to beat the floor again recalling our "Tinikling" but without the dancers hopping between the poles.

Ensued also was a procession with the men bearing a "coffin" or box aloft – a funeral cortege. Then one of the males did a solo dance number on top of the box complete with turns in the air, beats and jumps. A feat of balance and dexterity.

Finally the finale of the show was when the two boxes were brought on the stage with the dancers beating out a rhythm, which was echoed by the brisk and lively tapping of their feet. They even encouraged the audiences to clap out the rhythm, which was so infectious and so brought the house down.

The Aukeran knew how to create dramatic suspense first with provocative sounds from the instrumentalist and then with the 10 dancers. Most of the dances were lively and gay – with lots of pas de deuxs, skipping, jumping, twirling and some steps completely balletic in style.

The entirely novel light effects made the show still more spectacular.

It is obvious that dance in Spain is not at a standstill, but rather is moving toward and being modernized, there is even a jazz flamenco, and traditional dances like those of Aukeran are being perked up with modern touches – with wonderful results.

The performances lasted for only a little over an hour, but it once again proved that the Spaniards has a right to say "I’ve got rhythm, rhythm, rhythm!"

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