Corella Ballet’s Starry Brother-Sister Love

March 17, 2010






As soon as I saw them sitting on chairs back-to-back, I was hooked. Everyone knows that Angel and Carmen Corella are brother and sister—and that they are both fabulous dancers. This new duet, Soleá, started formally, with each turning front, and then turning to each together. As it unfolded, they showed a little more of what they can do, always basking in each other’s presence. The flamenco artist María Pagés made this dance for them, and she must have felt their energy toward each other. Though both Angel and Carmen are in ABT, they never get to dance together because she’s taller than he is. Apparently in the talk at City Center earlier in the week, Angel had said that he never would have gotten into dancing if it weren’t for her. Their love toward each other shined through every flamenco gesture, snapping head, and pirouette—and there were plenty of these last. By the time Angel let loose in a stream of pirouettes, it felt like he was getting energy directly from Carmen.


The recorded flamenco music was beautiful, and when the clicking of zapateado (heel taps) were heard, Carmen’s bourrée sequence and then Angel’s jumping-in-place sequence caught the rhythms brilliantly. Later, when they entangled their arms in a moment of sibling tenderness, they were creating their own, safe, fantasy world together.


I was choked up from the start, and the piece sustained that sibling connection so beautifully that I was in tears by the end. Everyone else must have felt the same, ’cause they gave it a roaring standing ovation, midway through the program.



Angel and Carmen Corella in
Soleá, by María Pagés. Photo by Rosalie O’Connor, courtesy Corella Ballet