Reviewed February 27 2022
The artistic agency, Bass Fam Creative, have once again resurrected Matador – sabor de amor. The 2021 sell-out show seizes its audience with a mesmeric concoction of acrobatics, dance, circus and burlesque performances—all of which assemble a story entrenched in love and the fiery confliction it ignites within us.
The storyline, rich in a lustful, unrequited romance, delves into the primal state love brings us to—set against a simplistic backdrop, allowing the device of story to capture us as viewers. To enhance the sophisticated and dramatic sense of this performance, we witness the Matador ensemble in the bygone-era-inspired Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent. The environment, embellished with mirrors and an enigmatic feel, is transporting to walk through, and truly amplifies the circus element.
The entourage of roses and velvet red with gold cement the thematic presence of Spanish enchantment entwined in a dynamic masculine energy that heeds obsession, torment and the darkness that love invites.
To say the costumes were good is to say sex is okay—you’re understating it. The hues of red danced around the room as elegantly and as enchantingly as the performers did. The meticulous detail and hand-crafted designs were strung together using variations of gems, glitters, sequins and satins to construct defining pieces like corsets and robes. I was particularly taken by the way the designers detailed a racy flamenco dress that embodied the splendour of grandiose sensuality. Each piece so subtly but precisely tuned that the audience does not have to search finely to decipher the richness of this show.
While the unified whole of a performance is often how we make an analysis, I’d like to separate the cast momentarily to note that this crew was exceptional, being made-up of professional dancers and some seriously extraordinary circus performers that made me clench my teeth and squint my eyes. What’s more is these entertainers are genuinely enjoying themselves, with beaming smiles and mischievous witticisms, this cast is no stranger to the stage.
The choreography is essentially a defining factor of any show, but being able to express the composition in a satisfactory manner is another machine entirely—and this cast and crew provided. While the acrobatic displays were jaw-dropping and candidly frightening to observe, the dancing was unified and unfaltering in its impressiveness. This show is adrenaline-charged.
These elements of nuanced emotion were further conveyed by a cohesive soundtrack that illustrated the volatile nature of our tumultuous ups and downs. From modern remixes, traditional songs to hip-hop and colourful pop music, there was no shortage of melodic tunes that made the audience want to get up and salsa.
Matador is painstakingly dressed in a dramatic glittery fabric—focusing on the ebbs and flows by utilising metaphoric devices through dance and other various extravagant acts. Audiences can expect to be enraptured by a scene of Spanish allure, flowering devastation and an obsession for its after taste; but also the resilience and courage found in love. As hard not to be impressed as I tried, the cast captured my spirits and doused them in a roaring delight—along with the rest of the audience. This performance was electric and undeniably enlivening. If you’re after something that has high-energy and charm sown seamlessly into the dynamism of each act, Matador is the show for you.
Matador is now playing at the 2022 Adelaide Fringe, Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent in Gluttony—Rymill Park.
Reviewed by Shania Parker
Venue: Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent at Gluttony – Rymill Park
Season: Until 20 March 2022
Duration: 98 min
Tickets: $65.00 to $79.00
Rating out of 5: 5