Marina Keet, who insists that Spanish dance is so exciting it should be performed by everyone, proved her point again Friday and Saturday. The cast list for Keet's Spanish Dance program at George Washington University's Marvin Theater was as nationally varied as the telephone book. It is a teaching wonder how well she integrates different performers -- of not only diverse heritage but also unequal skill -- into her productions.
The principal dancers -- guests Marina Lorca and Roberto Amaral, and the resident Jaime Coronado -- have Spain in their names. Lorca does daring things with flamenco tradition and sometimes transforms herself as well as the dances; Amaral is so at ease with a virtuoso technique that he doesn't have to go against the grain to be individual.
The solo in flamenco is the seal of a dancer's artistry even more than it is in classical ballet, because the choreographer's and composer's concepts are of less importance. The dancer not only reveals his personality by shading steps and illuminating motion but also becomes his own arranger. Lorca split herself in two, inciting a dialogue between her castanets and heels, and between her baroque leg work and the calm elegance of her upper body. Later, during a seguiriyas and interacting with Amaral, she pushed rhythm and phrasing, sometimes by stamping with both feet at once, and her manner was down-to-earth. Amaral, in a triana, made the castanets resonate and in an alegrias did wonders with a tremolo of the heel. He's even able to travel on his heels without looking or sounding awkward, and he's a pleasant singer.
Coronado wasn't macho enough for the superman task of managing six women in the militaristic maneuvers of a benamor, but he acquitted himself dancing a peteneras and partnering in a cana.