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Pilar Rioja.


strong-minded female leader of a group of guerrillas in the Spanish Civil War. [Am. Lit.: Hemingway For Whom the Bell Tolls]

See : Female Power


Great art and ritual go hand in hand. Perhaps that is why the annual New York appearances of Spanish dancer Pilar Rioja have always been welcome rituals.

The theater in which Rioja performs has some of the intimacy of a village church; its compact stage is akin to a pulpit. Yet there's nothing sanctimonious sanc·ti·mo·ni·ous  
Feigning piety or righteousness: "a solemn, unsmiling, sanctimonious old iceberg that looked like he was waiting for a vacancy in the Trinity" Mark Twain.
 about this captivating cap·ti·vate  
tr.v. cap·ti·vat·ed, cap·ti·vat·ing, cap·ti·vates
1. To attract and hold by charm, beauty, or excellence. See Synonyms at charm.

2. Archaic To capture.
 woman's style. It is not herself but her metier that she takes seriously and performs reverently.

Rioja is a soloist, but in a sense she has partners. They are her five deeply attuned at·tune  
tr.v. at·tuned, at·tun·ing, at·tunes
1. To bring into a harmonious or responsive relationship: an industry that is not attuned to market demands.

 guitarists and singers. They are also her costume designer, Guillermo Barclay, and her lighting designer, Robert Weber Federico. All work with an understated elegance, constantly creating a fluent setting for their crown jewel.

In her flamenco repertoire, which formed the entire program, Rioja does not resort to hair-tossing, flower-flinging antics. Yet there is ample temperament in the way she spirals her wrists, snaps her fan, and flails her bata in the sophisticated Guajira.

Her Taranto spews forth cascades of taconeo (heel work). At the same time, she holds her sleekly coiffed head proudly erect, while her hands in turn command, supplicate sup·pli·cate  
v. sup·pli·cat·ed, sup·pli·cat·ing, sup·pli·cates
1. To ask for humbly or earnestly, as by praying.

2. To make a humble entreaty to; beseech.

, even accuse. And she finishes boldly downstage down·stage  
Toward, at, or on the front part of a stage.

Of or relating to the front part of a stage.

The front half of a stage.

Noun 1.
 center, opening her arms as though she were about to envelope the audience.

Carmen Amaya often performed in trousers, and the effect underscored her rough-hued singing. Maria Teresa Acuna's effect in similar attire was playful. But when, in the Farruca Farruca is a form of Flamenco music, probably originating in the Galicia region of north-western Spain. It is a light form typical of cante chico, and is traditionally danced only by men. It is seldom sung. , Rioja appeared in trousers, topped by a soft, silk shirt and with a gentle fall of light on her shoulders, she seemed almost winged. And as she traced a melting path around her instrumentalists, she resembled a Byronic creature temporarily immersed in a swirl of tradition and bravery.

After Rioja's final solo, Bulerias y Rumbas, with its heel-chattering promenades and snapping torso, the audience rose as one to salute this incomparable artist. Although she thanked them with a brief, bright encore, it was still hard for them to let her go. See www.
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Title Annotation:and her performances
Author:Hering, Doris
Publication:Dance Magazine
Article Type:Dance Review
Date:Jan 1, 2006
Previous Article:Black Grace.
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