What comes to mind when someone mentions Spanish dancing? Castanets, right? Flouncy red-and-black costumes, sultry eyes and flamenco feet? These images are stereotypes, only fragments of a whole tradition, says Marina Keet, dance scholar, teacher and guiding spirit behind "Spanish Dance." This program, to be presented this weekend at George Washington University, aims to provide a comprehensive and authentic picture of both regional and classical styles, Keet says. Castile, Galicia, Andalusia, Extremadura, Basque -- each region is to be represented by dance, song and costume, including live music played on the Txistu (three-holed flute), tabor (Galician bagpipe), Pandeira (Galician drum) and other traditional instruments. The troupe will also show how a common folk dance becomes a codified, stylized classical step.
The performers include members of the Spanish Dance Society, Foggy Bottom Morris, G.W.U. Folk Dance Group, local bagpipers, vocalists and guitarists. The most extraordinary of them -- Marina Lorca, Emilio Acosta, Margarita Jova -- have come, respectively, from South Africa, Andalusia and Madrid, and their specialty is flamenco. Lorca moves like a particularly regal panther, snaking her arms languidly about her head, subtly swiveling a hip, sending her black shawl spiraling through space. Acosta's eloquent feet produce a precise form of rhythm tap. Jova strikes a series of aristocratic poses, flings her arms up and circles her wrists so fluidly that they appear to be rotating 360 degrees. Accompanied by the alternately buoyant and fiery music of singer Manolo Leiva and guitarist Paco de Malaga, these dancers replace the stereotypes with genuine, living images. SPANISH DANCE This Saturday at 8, Sunday, at 2 and 8 at the Marvin Theater, 800 21st Street NW. Tickets: $6 for adults, $3 for students and over-65s. Call 842-5387 or 676-7453.