Los Vivancos

Rating ***
Reviewed by Tony Peters

The seven brothers who make up Los Vivancos brought their unique take on flamenco to the London Coliseum for one night only and what a visceral and erotically charged display it was.

Given the group’s global success in the six years since they came together, it’s somewhat surprising that this was their London debut, and one can only assume the one-off performance was a testing-the-water exercise, hoping to garner some favourable publicity before a longer season or tour.

It’s safe to say that on this showing Los Vivancos’ powerhouse blend of flamenco, tap, contemporary dance and musicianship would have an audience in the UK and this often in-your-face performance certainly proved to be a crowd pleaser on the night.

Enhanced by some effectively dramatic lighting, the boys produced an electric selection of routines in a sometimes-awesome display of physicality and strength.

It wasn’t all perfect, however; while the group numbers were impressively dramatic and polished, solo performances or duets often went on too long and didn’t have the necessary presence to fill the Coliseum’s vast stage. And a supposed continuing narrative about a supernatural battle between good and evil was sometimes a bit tenuous.

Los Vivancos certainly saved the best till last and the spectacular finale (upside down flamenco, anyone?) complete with pyrotechnics was more suited to a stadium rock gig than the London Coliseum. It was a night of firsts generally for the magnificent home of the English National Opera. It’s probably not often witnessed women of a certain age whooping in hen night-style delight, but then it’s probably not seen many muscled-up Latinos stripped to the waist in unfeasibly tight trousers either.