Review – Jesús Carmona: The Jump

London 29 June 2022

When theatre meets flamenco = The Jump.

My first thought while watching the show was that this is not a flamenco performance but a theatre play. Jesús Carmona created something that reminded me of theatre: actors telling you a story across various scenes. What a fantastic show! The mix of music between flamenco and modern music made it feel very contemporary. The use of lights was a special feature, jumps between light and dark, spotlight in different shapes and all around the stage were all elements that all gave a modern feeling to the performance. I really liked how flamenco was “used” as one of the elements, being clearly the main language of expression, but mixing nicely with the other s.

The theme of “The Jump” is masculinity in the 21st century, exploring and questioning its meaning, searching for answers. Jesús and his 6 dancers did an outstanding job presenting male stereotypes of today’s day and age. Behavioural aspects like loudness, physicality were shown together with typical male activities like football, work or war. All with a thoughtful twist, with excellent underlying music and great design of costumes.

Sadler’s Wells called Jesús Carmona the “Catalan virtuoso” in the festival program. No wonder, his technique and footwork is far beyond average. But this show was not about technique. It was a personal project, bringing youth and energy to the stage, utilising flamenco in an innovative way, putting the spotlight on a topic that is so relevant in today’s society. We could enjoy many different types of flamenco styles, called palos in Spanish, with the incredibly powerful voice of José Valencia, who also participated in some of the dancers’ formations!

My emotions reached their peak at the alegrías, close to the end of the show. It was just pure joy on stage, I felt like clapping, dancing and singing with the artists. But it was not the finish just yet, the fin de fiesta was still ahead of us, and a very clear final message – once you break free of your chains, you reach the core: the human body. Having 7 naked men on stage during the last moments of the show was a nice finishing touch, emphasizing that at the end all there is left is just a body.

If you have a chance, go and see the show, it is magnificent!