CULTURE

Flamenco magic focusing on Spanish popular legend

A magical flamenco show, telling the story of 19th century Spanish folk legend Mariana Pineda, will take place at the Herod Atticus Theater tomorrow and Sunday. Produced by the Sara Baras Flamenco Dance Theater, the performance is choreographed by award-winning Spanish flamenco dancer and choreographer Sara Baras. «Mariana Pineda,» based on Federico Garcia Lorca’s play of the same title, focuses on the short life of the woman who became a legendary personality in 19th century Spain, after being hanged at the age of 27. Pineda, the widow of a wealthy landowner, dedicated her life to the movement for equality and fought for the creation of a parliament that would represent all social classes. Her staunch beliefs and her refusal to abide by authority, which cost her a brutal death, turned her into a popular legend. In Lorca’s play Pineda is not only a dedicated revolutionary but a passionate woman, whose life has been marked by love. Sara Baras, who began dancing when she was eight years old and has collaborated with major flamenco artists, founded her own company, the Sara Baras Flamenco Dance Theater, in 1998. The company’s productions combine the flamenco folk elements with other artistic forms. Baras won the National Dance Prize in 2003 and was declared Person of the Year in Andalusia two years ago. The original music and orchestration for «Mariana Pineda» are by award-winning composer Manolo Sanlucar (who received the National Music Prize in 2000, among others), while the show’s director Lluis Pasqual adapted the text and is also responsible for the sets, along with Daniel Bianco. The costumes are by Renata Schussheim. The cast features Sara Baras in the title role, Jose Serrano as Don Pedro, Luis Ortega as Pedrosa and Miguel Canas as Don Fernando, as well as dancers from the Sara Baras Flamenco Dance Theater. «Mariana Pineda,» at the Herod Atticus Theater tomorrow & Sunday, 9 p.m. Tickets from the Hellenic Festival box office (39 Panepistimiou, tel 210.928.2900) and the theater itself (both open daily 8.30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m. to 2.30 p.m., closed Sundays).