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Yo, Carmen - How to Visit Spain Without Leaving the States at Spoleto Festival USA

Maria Pagés and Company in Yo, Carmen
Maria Pagés and Company in Yo, Carmen Image courtesy of Spoleto Festival USA

Accompanied by live musicians in the background of the stage, Maria Pagés and company gave us a breathtaking performance and left us foot-tapping in our seats with their one-and-a-half hour flamenco adaptation of the famous opera, Carmen. Pagés, who grew up in Seville, Spain and is famous for her modern interpretation of flamenco, not only choreographed the performance by was also the principal dancer in Yo, Carmen.

Stomp, (clap, clap, clap) stomp, (clap, clap) stomp, stomp,….olé! “Have we been transported to sunny Spain?” I asked myself. Unfortunately, no.

 

 

However, we were able to immerse ourselves in another culture and experience something new and exciting, without ever leaving town, at Charleston’s annual Spoleto Festival USA!

 

My husband and I ventured out Saturday night on a “fancy date night” (thanks, grandparents!). We went to the production of Yo, Carmen at Charleston’s recently renovated, music and performance venue, the Gaillard Center. I must admit that I had not stepped foot into the Gaillard since they completed renovations in 2015, but the atmosphere was stunning. Once the performers and dancers took the stage, it was truly a delight for the senses.

Accompanied by live musicians in the background of the stage, Maria Pagés and company gave us a breathtaking performance and left us foot-tapping in our seats with their one-and-a-half hour flamenco adaptation of the famous opera, Carmen. Pagés, who grew up in Seville, Spain and is famous for her modern interpretation of flamenco, not only choreographed the performance by was also the principal dancer in Yo, Carmen.

 

She was very engaged with the audience toward the end of the production. She thanked “all the women” and declared her performance was for “all women: the mothers, the sisters, the daughters, the neighbors, the friends, the aunts, the grandmothers…all the women”, because the show can reflect women in all walks of life. In addition, she also thanked “the men, who put up with the women.”

 

If you want to treat any of the women in your life, we would highly recommend any of Spoleto’s live performances. They are a unique option for a date night, and a great excuse to dress up and enjoy some beautiful venues and breathtaking performances.

Jennifer Carter

Jennifer is a Clemson Tiger cheering, nature-loving, surfboard weilding mother of two, married to her college sweetheart, David. In her travels she has sat with baby tiger cubs, ridden an elephant, ziplined through the forest, climbed Machu Pichu, and explored East Asia. A certifiable Charleston native (we checked her credentials) wink, she is probably the most qualified of any of us folks to tell you all about her hometown here in the Lowcountry.

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