I was invited to the press night of Zik’R on Tuesday night, a flamenco show created, sung and danced by Karen Ruimy.
It was an enjoyable if slightly bizarre evening’s entertainment that felt ill-at-home at such a formal venue as the West End theatre. Lighting and basic set design wanted to transport the audience to humid nights in Seville but this was eclipsed by an overall feeling of disorganisation as musicians conferred with each other and technicians regularly moved across the stage to move equipment and setup for the next section.
Undoubtedly Zik’R features highly talented musicians and dancers who’s movements and rhythms evoke the desired atmosphere and authenticity. However, this was not a slick enough production for the west end stage. Indeed the performance gave such a relaxed vibe, the audience began to chatter between numbers to fill the gaps in the extensive set changes.
“Fusion” is normally a term that fills me with dread in a press release however, Ruimy’s show is more a journey from India to Seville and back and forth in between. Ash Mukherjee was the enigmatic Kathak dancer full of energy and charisma, it would have been nice to see more of him rather than Ruimy’s rather extended and self indulgent solos that grew a little tiresome towards the end.
The second act is where the pace picks up and where the flamenco dancer’s (Francisco Hidalgo and Antonia Correderas) of the last finally have a time to shine. It’s an authoratitive, stomping display full of masculinity and bravado that sits in deep contrast with the softness of Mukherjee’s Indian dance.