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Israel Galván: La Fiesta - Sadler's Wells

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

WIDELY considered a genius of his generation in the world of flamenco, Israel Galván is presenting the UK premiere of La Fiesta at Sadler’s Wells on Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28, 2019.

Galván spent his childhood staying up late to partake in the “fin de fiesta,” the time after a show when the performers would throw off the restrictions of their roles and improvise together. This has inspired his new production, which he sees as his most radical work to date.

For La Fiesta, co-produced by Sadler’s Wells, Galván brings together a company of dancers and musicians including Jesús Aguilera, Eloísa Cantón, Emilio Caracafé, Ramón Martínez, Niño de Elche, Alejandro Rojas-Marcos, Alia Sellami and Uchi, encouraging them to cross genre divides in this most flamenco of celebrations.

Israel Galván’s previous performances at Sadler’s Wells include TOROBAKA, a collaboration with Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Akram Khan, and FLA.CO.MEN, his avant-garde production that was presented as part of Sadler’s Wells’ Flamenco Festival in 2017.

Alistair Spalding, Sadler’s Wells’ Artistic Director and Chief Executive, said: “Israel Galván is without a doubt one of the most talented and innovative flamenco performers in the world. La Fiesta is a dazzling and boundary-pushing evening of flamenco, and his most imaginative and unusual production to date. What this evening proves is that Israel, like every great artist, is constantly pushing forward.”

Son of Sevillian bailaores Jose Galván and Eugenia de Los Reyes, he grew up within the atmosphere of tablaos, fiestas and flamenco dance academies, where he used to accompany his father. In 1994, he joined the Compañía Andaluza de Danza, directed by Mario Maya, and this was the beginning of an unstoppable career.

His first creation, ¡Mira!/Los Zapatos Rojos, received its world premiere in 1998. Praised by critics as a stroke of genius, it was effectively a revolution in the entire concept of flamenco shows. Since then, he has presented productions including La Metamorfosis, Galvánicas, Arena, La Edad De Oro, Tábula Rasa, Solo, El Final De Este Estado De Cosas – Redux, Israel vs Los 3000, La Curva and Lo Real/Le Réel/The Real. Galván is an Associate Artist of Théâtre de la Ville Paris and Teatros del Canal Madrid.

Galván was awarded the National Dance Prize 2005, “Creation” section, by the Culture Department of the Spanish Government, for “his capacity to generate a new creation in an art such as flamenco without forgetting the real roots that have sustained it to the present day and that make of it a universal genre”. In 2012, he was honoured with the New York Bessie Performance Award for an Outstanding Production and the Fine Arts Medal awarded by the Council of Ministers of Spanish Government.

He received three Premios Max de Teatro awards in May 2014 for Lo Real/Le Réel/The Real, for best dance production, best choreography and best dancer. In 2016, he was awarded the Critics’ Circle National Dance Award (UK) for Exceptional Artistry.

Tickets: £15 – £37. To book, call the ticket office on 020 7863 8000 or visit

Time: 7.30pm.