July 2016, London

Paco Pena is in town again. It’s been a year since I last saw one of his flamenco shows in London. Everyone talks about the meaning of his titles (this time, ‘Patria’ – motherland) and what his virtuoso musicians and dancers so passionately convey. Everything is meant to tell us something, from floor-stamping feet to sober poses and screaming guitars. But what flamenco is all about – it seems to me – is none of these; rather, it is what is held back, the shadows behind downcast gazes. The pause. That is where the real drama begins.