Wednesday, April 15, 2009

ARTEFLAMENCO



Last night was my first class in Flamenco dance. I arrived at the studio a full 15 minutes early with long flowy skirt and flamenco shoes in hand.

There were some seasoned dancers in the class mixed in with the handful of beginners.
Because of this Natalia (our instructor) forced us to jump right in and learn some very intricate footwork. It was frustrating, exhausting and so much fun. I can't wait for the next class.

I fell in love with Flamenco while on a visit to Spain. Andalucia, to be exact. Within one week we saw three Flamenco shows. I was smitten.

The first show was in an auditorium of a church located on the town square of Rhonda.
This show was a sort of recital of a local dance troupe. Lots of beautiful women in gorgeous (mostly polka-dottted) dresses.

The second show took place in an outdoor courtyard on a tiny, winding street in the old Jewish neighborhood in Sevilla. This performance was in front of a much smaller, more intimate crowd. Several male guitarists accompanied a male singer and one pair of dancers. What surprised me most was the soulfulness of the guitar music and singer. The songs portrayed a life full of soul and angst. A truly moving performance.

The final performance took place in a cave on a hillside across the valley from the Alhambra in Granada. The music and dancing were performed by the gypsies that live in these caves. We were escorted in, seated crammed along the sides of someone's living room stone walls and given glasses of sangria. This performance was a much more raucous representation of the dance. The dancers were a bit more unrefined in their movements but you got the impression that they have been dancing this way for centuries. It seemed so much a part of their spirit. After all, it began with the gypsies in this part of the country.

This photo shows the gypsy dancer in the caves.

My son's girlfriend made the comment that I seem to choose hobbies just for the great clothes. Although that is not true I can't wait to go back to Spain to acquire a gorgeous polka-dotted dress of my own. And another pair of shoes- I'm thinking RED.

3 comments:

Akelamalu said...

Long time no see m'dear - I hope you're well?

Flamenco is so exciting, though I've never been fortunate enough to see a live show - lucky you! It must be so exciting to learn too. I love all that foot stomping - reminds me of my tap dancing days (lot younger) and line dancing about 10 years ago before my knee got really bad. :)

bulletholes said...

You be careful Gewels, don't twist an ankle.
You'll want a little black lace with that red dress, no?

red dirt mule said...

I'm soooo ENVIOUS!!
I love flamenco as well.
My daughter's guitar teacher was once a European renowned flamenco guitarist !! He invited us to a flamenco show once, sponsored by an arts college. It WAS beautiful and moving.

I wanted to see the dancers in the caves whilst in Grenada. My husband heard that they steal your money and refused my request....

yeah. you said it.

RED! Go for the red, girlfriend. I love living vicariously through you.

xxx
rdm