"Mariana Pineda"
July 10, 11

On par with flamenco superstar Joaquin Cortes (who, incidentally, performs in Athens the same week), Sara Baras won Spain's National Prize of Dance in 2003.

"Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras" presents the production "Mariana Pineda", a flamenco version of Federico Garcia Lorca's work, which bears the same title.

Rebel Mariana Pineda was a heroine of the liberal cause in 19th century Spain, whose short and turbulent life came to an abrupt end when she was hanged for embroidering a revolutionary flag.

Her story was immortalized in a traditional folk ballad, which inspired Federico Garcia Lorca to pen his well-known play depicting her life story.

Stripped bare of political connotations to focus on strictly personal themes, "Mariana Pineda" comes to life via heartstopping flamenco choreography by Sara Baras, and music by composer Manolo Sanlucar.

Baras is a staunch admirer of feminine, passionate and dedicated characters, such as Pineda. LluĂ­s Pasqual has created a script that does not follow a chronological line; instead, it touches on core events in the life of the powerful but ultimately doomed protagonist.

About the artist: At present, Sara Baras is the most prestigious bailaora at an international level; she has performed all over the world. She learned how to dance from her mother, Concha Baras, and started working with guitarist Manuel Morao in 1989.

Baras' talent has been recognized with awards like the Madrono Flamenco of Montellano (Seville). In both 1999 and in 2001, she received the Max prize for Best Female Dance Performer.

About the Odeon: Built by Herodus Atticus in the second century A.D., in honor of his dead wife, Regilla. The theatre seats 5,000, and has near-perfect acoustics.

Find it: Odeon of Herod Atticus
Dionysiou Aeropagitou Str., Acropolis
Athens, Greece
Get there: Metro to Akropoli
Get info: +30-210-9282900, +30-210-3221459

Find more dance events worldwide in the July 2004 issue of "Arte Six"