Flamenco is indisputably one of the sexiest forms of dance around, curiously combining yin and yang, or what we think of as female and male characteristics. Both men and women pound the floor assertively, puff out their chests, and move their arms in strong, dramatic arcs. And both men and women wear high heels, caress themselves, and dance with delicate, floaty, filigreed hand movements. Though there's little in the way of traditional partnering--men and women rarely touch, more often dancing alone or with other members of their sex--when the company's mixed the air sizzles, the men looking down as if mesmerized at the women's hips and undulating arms. With its dramatic pauses and sudden displays, a flamenco performance is like one mating dance after another, especially when the women wear long trains and toss them seductively from front to back or side to side, capturing the form's sense of simultaneous weight and weightlessness. I've seen no one perform flamenco better than the remarkable Antonio Marquez, who heads this polished Spanish company of four men and four women: his dancing has the same energy, stamina, passion, and attention to detail that great lovers lavish on their partners. The first half of the program--Reencuentros and Marquez's solo Zapateado--is set to recorded music, but the second half, Movimiento Flamenco, provides a real treat: live flamenco percussion, guitar, and singing. Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State, 312-902-1500, 312-922-2110, ext. 4, for groups of ten or more. Saturday, February 16, 8 PM. $24-$44.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Paco Ruiz.