Left is a funny and meaningful play portraying nine separate and distinct characters. As they tell stories of coloring books, poetry, music, and relationships, we learn that leaving doesn’t always go right.
The title,"A Palo Seco," is a phrase referring to some of the most emotionally raw elements within Flamenco. The performance is an intimate production of music and dance ranging from traditional pieces to repertoire to that is both modern and edgy. One of its highlights is "Metamorphosis," an original piece in which Tomás, costumed in the Bata de Cola (long-train dress typical of Flamenco), begins by playing classical piano, accompanied by both violin and electric bass. The piece evolves into a haunting choreography to modern American music that, in its essence, echoes the emotional depth so distinctive within Flamenco.
Based in Manhattan, where she freelances as a soloist with various companies, Rebeca Tomás has been deemed "a fierce performer" (Explore Dance) and "a postcard image of the feminine Flamenco dancer" (Kansas City Metropolis). Since summer 2008, she has toured with the internationally renowned company Noche Flamenca. She also performs regularly with Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana, Jorge Navarro's Pasión Flamenca, andOscar Valero Flamenco Company. Tomás began her formal dance training in Granada, Spain at Maite Galán's Escuela de Danza Española. She later moved to Madrid, where she studied at the internationally renowned Flamenco Academy Amor de Dios under such figures as Maria Magdalena, La China, Manuel Liñán, and Rafaela Carrasco. There she appeared at various tablaos, including Al Andalus and Las Carboneras. She has also studied in Sevilla with Juana Amaya, Pastora Galván, and Yolanda Heredia. In May 2008, she received a grant from the Jerome Foundation to return to Spain and deepen her studies in Bata de Cola, and in June 2008 she received a scholarship to participate in a summer intensive program at Jacob's Pillow.
Petite yet strong, Tomás is only 5' 1," but appears much larger onstage. Her performing style is sharp, graceful and clean. "Being small, I have a low center of gravity," she confides. This might be why she can tightly execute a wide variety of turns, from repetitive "heel" turns and pirouettes, to the most famous of the female Flamenco turns, the vuelta quebrada, in which Tomás arches her back so completely that she never takes her eyes off the audience. She has also been praised for the musicality of her footwork, which displays an unusual precision of rhythm. Trained as a pianist, she connects intricately with her musicians, improvising freely and playfully with them. She also connects intensely with the audience, toying with it adroitly as she leads it through moments of joyfulness, severity, high energy and tension. Notwithstanding the novelty of a Flamenco dancer playing piano in a performance, she's an artist that traditionalists will be proud of. "I'm quite mindful of the tradition," she insists, "while finding my own personal style within it."
The evening will feature dancers Rebeca Tomás, Sol "La Argentinita" and Laura Montes. Musicians will be guitarist and musical director Pedro Cortés, bass player Sean Kupisz, violinist Alí Bello, percussionist Oscar Valero and singers David Castellano and Bárbara Martínez. Lighting Design is by S. Benjamin Ferrar. The production is directed and choreographed by Rebeca Tomás, who developed the original concept while abroad in Spain on a grant from the Jerome Foundation.