Like the blues and hip-hop, flamenco was created by people living on the fringe. And like those forms, its music and dance have undergone mass efforts to buff, burnish, and bottle its essence for the commercial stage. Among those resisting such anaesthetization is Los Farruco, a clan of flamenco dancers from Spain, in town for the first annual Festival of Flamenco Arts and Traditions. Considered that countrys first family of Gypsy flamenco dance, the group has built its reputation largely on its willingness to take risks and improvise, a practice at the heart of original flamenco culture. The two generations that make up the dynasty are direct descendants of El Farruco, the legendary dance master who first blew American audiences away in Broadways 1986 Flamenco Puro. At the helm is grandson Farruquito, whose heartthrob status hasnt hurt efforts to preserve the endangered form in recent years. Little brother Farruco and 19-year-old cousin Barullo are close on Farruquitos heels to become the tribes next international superstars, though mother La Farruca draws her own crowds with her dark, prowling style. The whole clan is flanked by renowned guitarists Antonio Rey and El Tuto and a roll call of Spains top young flamenco singers, creating the potential for olés from initiates and aficionados alike.
March 5-6, 8 p.m., 2009