Preview-Flamenco Macbeth!: A Unique Approach To A Classic Tale

The sorrow of Flamenco interlaced with the tragedy of Shakespeare told through drama, movement, and music. This version of the play takes an unusual approach to the power driven tale of Scottish General Macbeth. The Flamenco, a modern-day symbol of Spanish culture, is a musical style with gypsy origins. During rehearsals, actors who are unfamiliar with the style, are asked by co-choreographer Cihtli Ocampo to take a step back, breathe, and restart with small movements. A Flamenca never rushes.

Flamenco Macbeth! is a Studio Stage production by Santa Monica College (SMC), adapted by Director and Theatre Department Chair, Perviz Sawoski, who envisioned Shakespeare's play enhanced by the intensity and sorrow of Flamenco. 

The production follows the traditional story of its protagonist, Macbeth, a general who has been prophesied by witches to naturally become king of Scotland. However, he is corrupted by power and alongside his wife, Lady Macbeth, violently seeks to secure the throne. Through guilt and madness, Macbeth, who is initially a man of high morals, grows increasingly paranoid and murderous throughout the play.

"The concept of Flamenco Macbeth! is to take Macbeth and incorporate Flamenco in it without changing the language of Shakespeare. We are also incorporating footwork and arm movements into the play, the ethos of Flamenco, the feel of it,” says Sawoski. “The Flamenco has an aspect that brings in the pain the gypsies went through in their trajectory to Andalusia, Spain. There is melancholy infused in it.”

Ocampo is a lifelong flamenco artist, currently teaching dance classes at SMC. “It’s a question of the director letting me know what the scene is about and what she wants to accomplish with it.” explains Ocampo. “Flamenco is not just pretty steps, the cast is embodying Flamenco and the world of it and blending the two.” adds Perviz, regarding the blend of Flamenco with Shakespeare.

Flamenco englobes not just dancing, but instruments and singing as well. The production features existing Flamenco guitar music, as well as original music written for the play by Flamenco guitarist Ethan Margolis.

Students Angel Salas and Julia Andersson respectively star in the roles of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Mehmet Bakir, Deonte Allen, and Jacques Chevelle take on the roles of King Duncan, general Banquo, and Macduff.

Tickets are available for purchase online or in the Theatre Arts Box Office at SMC. Advance Sale price is $10 dollars and At-the-door price will be $13 dollars.

Showtimes: April 26, 27, May 3, 4 at 8 p.m.

April 28, May 4, 5 at 2 p.m.

May 2, 5 at 7 p.m.