Los Vivancos (review). Anne Cox taps into the world of extreme flamenco

Los Vivancos
Los Vivancos

We all thought that Riverdance was the ultimate dance show. Well wait until you see Los Vivancos. They make Michael Flatley look like the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Last night the seven brothers from Spain set the stage alight at the London Coliseum with a sizzling display of fusion-flamenco that earned them a standing ovation and the refusal of the audience to let them leave the stage until they were exhausted with encores.

The scorching hot show was a taster aimed at introducing the group to both UK audiences and producers looking for the next big thing. Believe me, these are the next big thing. Snap them up now before you won’t be able to afford them.

These dancers should come with a government health warning. They sent temperatures through the roof.

Who’d have thought flamenco could be so sexy? This was a 100-minute, non-stop, nuclear-fuelled performance like no other. The audience went wild.

Los Vivancos are billed as an extreme flamenco dance troupe. Not sure if that really means anything other than watching seven men physically pulsate as they danced - upside down, on the staging, blindfolded, while playing musical instruments and to excess. The home of the English National Opera had never experienced anything like it.

It’s slick, exhilarating and exhausting. Pools of sweat formed on the stage as the dancers furiously tapped, stamped and twirled. The show became ever more frenzied as it worked up to the finale that started with an aggressive martial arts warm-up.

Now sweating profusely the seven topless, beautifully honed men, each of their muscles rippling and gloriously defined, dancing up a storm while blindfolded and, in part, twirling staffs at speed.

Just when we thought that they couldn’t have the stamina for any more the guys rose to the adulation of the crowd for encore after encore, at one point demolishing part of their set as they danced upside down.

It was heart-pounding, heady, stuff that was a world away from those Sangria-soaked Spanish nights we watched on our hols.

Among the artsy, mystic, mythology moments, there were periods of grace and elegance that showcased the men’s skill at ballet and pure flamenco.

The whole performance was accompanied by a band of female musicians, a superb lighting display and pyrotechnics.

Theatre-goers were left in awe of the men’s energy and stamina. There’s no break in the performance and the show doesn’t flag for a second. Most ordinary mortals would have keeled over with the exertion after 10 minutes.

It was billed as an 80 minute show but we got an extra 20 minutes for free as the now, hyped up, dancers, got a second wind and gloried in the applause. It was simply magnifico.