Choreographed by Gades from the play by Lorca, with Saura recording not the polished final production but a day-lit dress rehearsal in a bare studio with no scenery and minimal props. This visual austerity accentuates gesture, ceremony and convention, in both the ballet itself (a drama of outraged honour and revenge) and the dancers' parallel, ritual preparations for performance. Saura uses cinematic effects sparingly, at dramatic highpoints (in particular the climactic knife-fight, filmed in a vertiginous circular tracking shot) which draw the viewer from beyond the metaphorical footlights into the very heart of passion and desire. Dance-lovers will need no further encouragement, but it's seductive enough to fascinate even balletophobes.
Cast and crew
Juan Antonio Jiménez