Cyprus Mail

The passionate steps of the flamenco

Escape to Spain on Saturday thanks to K-Cineplex in Nicosia (Strovolos) and Paphos who will be screening the opera Carmen as staged at the Teatro Real.

About as spectacular as the opera is the theatre in which it is performed. The Teatro Real is considered to be one of the most important cultural institutions in Spain and is one of the main opera houses in the world, hosting some of the most renowned opera singers.

Carmen, choreographed by flamenco dancer and choreographer Antonio Gades, will truly get all audience members into a Spanish mood. The flamenco moves, dashing dance steps that echo with passion, are what have positioned Gades as one of the greatest choreographers in the world, whose work has contributed to making flamenco popular internationally.

Based on the novella of the same name by Prosper Merimee, Carmen was first performed in Paris in 1875.

Through this performance, Gades aimed at restoring the stereotyped false image of the main character. When Merimee wrote the work in 1837, Carmen scandalised puritans and those who could not see that she stood for genuine female liberation. In his opinion, Carmen is an honest and free woman who doesn’t treat her feelings as private property.

The sorrowful but passionate Mediterranean story of Carmen attracts audiences worldwide with its tragic love story set in 1830s Seville, in Spain. The plot tells the tale of provocative gypsy Carmen, who works in a cigarette factory and loves attention, something she gets a lot of from everyone during her breaks from the factory, everyone that is except young soldier Don Jose. Wanting everyone to admire her, Carmen throws a flower at the soldier. When the workers return to their work Carmen is involved in a fight. Jose is ordered to break up the fight by Lieutenant Zuniga and arrest Carmen. While the two are alone in prison, Carmen mesmerises the soldier and escapes.

The gypsy then goes back to the tavern where she meets her smuggling partners and is flirted with by a bullfighter. Jose shows up and Carmen continues to squeeze attention out of him by making him jealous, telling him all about how she dances for Zuniga. He shows her the flower as a symbol of his love for her but she isn’t impressed, wanting him to leave the army and live a life of freedom with her.

Things don’t really go the way the dancing characters would want them to go, and – spoiler alert for anyone who doesn’t already know this famous ending – Carmen gets stabbed and dies.

The opera will be screened at 7.55pm but get there a little earlier as there will be drinks and nibbles available for all you opera-goers.

Screening of the opera. March 12. K-Cineplex Nicosia and Paphos. 7.55pm. €10/8. Tel: 24-819022

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