Saturday, April 16, 2011

Venezuela Viva! dance extravaganza comes to UK

UPDATE: Tickets now on sale half price if you book direct from the Red Cross on 020 7877 7115

Incorporating a vibrant fusion of folk music, dance and history, "Venezuela Viva" is one of the most ambitious musical extravaganzas ever produced in Venezuela.

Luckily for us, it will be coming to the London Palladium on October 10th 2011 for a one-off charity event on behalf of the International Fundraising Committee of the British Red Cross.

Created by Carolina Lizarraga and featuring master harpist Carlos Orozco, the show electrified audiences in Edinburgh in 2005 when it played at the Scottish capital's famous annual arts festival.

"The show masquerades as a history lesson, tracing the birth of a nation from Spanish conquest to independence and beyond... but don’t be fooled; it’s one big party!", wrote an excited reviewer in the Guardian.

Anna Millar of The Scotsman newspaper was also bowled over by the show... "this large-scale spectacular celebrates Venezuelan life with gorgeous dancing girls, sensational Caribbean salsa and South American rhythms as 12 dancers and 12 musicians create a dazzling fantasy of flamenco passion and tropical energy."

Hugely ambitious in scope, "Venezuela Viva!" traces the evolution of Venezuelan folk music from its roots in four continents: the Arab culture of the Moors, who ruled most of Spain for nearly 800 years; the rhythms and vocal stylings of the fandanguillo de Malaga, flamenco and cante jondo brought to Venezuela by the Spanish conquistadors; the indigenous music of the native inhabitants of the New World played on flutes and maracas in sacred ceremonies overseen by shamans; and the hip-shaking drum dances of Africa, kept alive on sugar and cocoa plantations by the descendants of slaves.

Now bigger and even more spectacular than the Edinburgh shows, it features 25 dancers from Carolina Lizarraga's dance troupe supported by 10 musicians on stage playing everything from flamenco to modern salsa.

"From 1492 to the present day, the pictures, with voiceover, spin through 19 short scenes, journeying across continents and centuries, charting a history of wars, conquests and discoveries," wrote Lynne Walker in the Independent. "Each stage is portrayed in vivid choreography, danced with equal measures of grace and exuberance... As the show ends, you just want to jump on the next plane to Venezuela."

A UK tour organized by Theatre Productions Limited will follow the London Palladium show, although the dates and venues have yet to be released.

Tickets are on sale from £27.50 for Upper Circle seats, £65 for the Royal Circle and Stalls and £105 for the top priced Royal Circle and Stalls seats.

VIP tickets are also on sale from the Red Cross at £250, including top-price seats, an interval reception and post-show party in the presence of the artists

UPDATE: Tickets now on sale half price if you book direct from the Red Cross on 020 7877 7115

Venue: London Palladium
Date: 10 October 2011
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: or call the British Red Cross 0207-877-7115

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