House of Flamenka, 5 Stars

House of Flamenka
The Peacock Theatre
27th Sep to 8th Oct 2022

House of Flamenka‘ is the world premiere of a new dance spectacular, co-created and directed by dance legend Arlene Phillips, a lavish, extravagant and sexy fusion of Flamenco and Contemporary dance.

Choreography by James Cousins (choreographer, director and artistic director of his eponymous dance company, James Cousins Company, ‘The Book of Dust’ and the upcoming ‘Guys & Dolls’ at Bridge Theatre)

Set in a fantasy world in the home of a goddess of music and dance whose passion is collecting beautiful objects, her most prized possessions being 20 extraordinary dancers and musicians, who perform solely for her pleasure. With an eclectic soundtrack, the show is a passionate fusion of very distinctive forms, full of explosive choreography both Flamenco and contemporary.Flamenco star Karen Ruimy leads an exceptional company of dancers from Madrid and the UK.

Review by Richard Lambert, 5 Stars

Sumptuously decadent, sexy, sensual, like panthers softly prowling around, the 20 male dancers of this troupe ooze masculinity. Multiple curtains are swagged and drape to frame the stage with a pink neon “House of Flamenka” cartouche sign and an overhead truss of feathers, the mood drips with extravagant luxury.

A few numbers into the show and the drapes lift to reveal multiple stage platforms behind 10 large Golden Picture Frames. A multi-level performance space that delivers the dance performance utilising all three-dimensions.

Karen Ruimy is the star of the show – she sings, she dances, she enthralls and just sizzles through her House of Flamenka. It’s her fantasy world, her home of prized possessions – her boys, dressed in dashing leading-man outfits, sexy kit-kat straps, and flowing dresses. Feathers and traditional female flamenco dresses adorn the boys. Karen’s fantasy shared with the audience.

The story may be a little lost and thin but who cares when the staging is so powerful. A fusion of Flamenco and Contemporary dance. The gender balance may be a little off with Karen as the only female dancer surrounded by her 20 boys. But it’s magically brilliant!

Set and Costume Designer Jasmine Swan is the second star of this show. Her work here is genius. Each sensemble dance has a theme and style with individual elements for each dancer within it. The lighting rig is immense and accentuates the three-dimensional grand scheme. The Sound was a little loud but I’m sure this depends where you sit. With everything on backing tracks along with 3 live musicians it’s very full musically.

Director Arlene Phillips has embraced the grand gestures shown by the design and choreographers and swathed the show with precision creating a very polished production. The strength of this all-male dance show shines through, it’s pure camp testosterone.

Creative team:Co-created and Directed by Arlene PhillipsCo-created and Produced by Karen RuimyChoreography by James CousinsFlamenco Choreography by Francisco Hidalgo

Karen RuimyAn accomplished flamenco dancer, Karen Ruimy is the definition of multifaceted being a dancer, creative director and singer-songwriter. Her most recent show, ‘When Jazz Meets Flamenco’, a fusion of music, expression, dance & culture, premiered in a sold-out run at Lilian Baylis Studio. She previously performed and produced ‘Flamen’ka’ at Casino de Paris, ‘Flamen’ka Nueva’ at Folies Bergeres, ‘Cabaret Flamen’ka’ at La Cigale, Sangre and Riverside Studios which was directed and choreographed by Redha Benterifour.

Arlene Philips – DirectorArlene’s prolific career credits include: Director: The Cher Show, Lord of the Dance, Saturday Night Fever, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour, Hair at the London Palladium, EFX at the MGM Grand. Choreograper (Musical Theatre): Guys and Dolls (upcoming), Grease, Starlight Express, We Will Rock You, Saturday Night Fever, The Sound of Music, Wizard of Oz, Flashdance, Jackie The Musical, What’s New Pussycat?, Joseph (USA), Jesus Christ Superstar (USA).

James Cousins – ChoreographyJames is a choreographer, director and artistic director of his eponymous dance company, James Cousins Company, which has toured nationally and internationally to critical acclaim since 2013.  In theatre James was co-director and movement director on The Book of Dust (Bridge Theatre); associate director on The Cher Show (UK Tour, dir. Arlene Phillips) and Bach and Sons (Bridge Theatre, dir. Nick Hytner); and associate movement director on A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Bridge Theatre, dir. Nick Hytner). In 2023 James will be associate director and choreographer on a new production of Guys and Dolls at the Bridge Theatre. James was the inaugural winner of the New Adventures Choreographer Award, selected by Matthew Bourne for his ‘refreshing desire to entertain’ and the resulting production Within Her Eyes is currently on the GCSE Dance syllabus in England.

Francisco Hidalgo – Flamenco ChoreographyHidalgo was born in Algodonales, Cádiz, in 1985 and he was trained in both Seville and Jerez by masters such as Manolo Marín and Pilar Ortega. This is how he developed a unique and personal language that meets his own need for expression. In addition, he was inspired by great artists of the flamenco scene, such as La Paquera de Jerez:  In 2008, he was awarded the Premio Nacional Anilla la Gitana de Ronda and, in 2010 he won Second Prize at the Festival Internacional del Cante de las Minas de la Unión.

Photo credit: Pamela Raith

Listings Info

House of Flamenka

Peacock Theatre

Portugal St,

London WC2A 2HT

Tuesday 27 September

– Saturday 8 November

Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm

Wednesday & Saturday at 2.30pm

Box Office:

Tel: 020 7863 8000 (12pm – 6pm)


Tickets: from £18

There is a transaction charge of £3.50 added to telephone and online ticket bookings and reservations. Only one
charge is made per booking, and it does not apply to group bookings. There’s no charge when you book in person


Sadler’s Wells Peacock Theatre

Sadler’s Wells

Karen Ruimy

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