Shot dead by a firing squad in 1936 at the very start of the conflict, Lorca’s vibrant poetic genius, consummate musicianship and tragic, untimely death have inspired an array of artists involved in the expression of flamenco – including Peña and his hand-picked company of nine dancers, guitarists and singers.
The Spanish word ‘patria’ means motherland or homeland; your people; your culture. It evokes pride in being who you are and knowing where you are from. In Patrias, Pena and his virtuoso co-stars take the audience on a poignant journey through the experiences of the Spanish people during the three years of intense hostilities between the Nationalists and Republicans.
A series of impressionistic vignettes set out to stir up an emotional response in spectators, giving both sides (the Nationalists and the Republicans) space and time to espouse propaganda songs and suggest stories of heroism through fluid choreography and passionate performances.
The simple songs of the time that were used as rallying cries for combatants and supporters on either side are contrasted with renditions of traditional Spanish folk music and songs - many written and performed by Lorca during his lifetime.
Hence, in Patrias Peña vividly contrasts the stark brutality of the war with the country’s colourful cultural heritage. This serves as a symbolic reminder of the extreme polarity of ideas that prevailed during Spain’s most turbulent and devastating era.
The name Paco Peña embodies both authenticity and innovation in flamenco. Not simply a guitarist but also a composer, dramatist, producer and artistic mentor, he has transformed perceptions of this archetypal Spanish art form.
During a career that has spanned five decades, Peña has thrilled audiences worldwide. Every visit to London so far has earned him exceptional critical acclaim. His enthralling shows effortlessly combine Andalusian music, song and dance – ensuring the rhythms of hands, feet, vocals and instrumentals envelop theatregoers.
Patrias, already a success at the Edinburgh Festival, is sure to result in another stunningly run for Peña at Sadler’s Wells. Ticket holders should expect drama, tenderness and affection in this heartfelt tribute to the lives lost in the Spanish Civil War.
|What||Patrias: Paco Peña, Sadler's Wells|
|Where||Sadler's Wells, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Angel (underground)|
12 Jul 16 – 16 Jul 16, 19:30 Sat mat 14:30
|Website||Click here to book via Sadler's Wells|