Do You Wonder What Life is Like for a Dancer on the Flamenco Tour to Jerez?

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Do You Wonder What Life is Like for a Dancer on the Flamenco Tour to Jerez?

Flamenco is everywhere here in Jerez, in our classes, at the peñas and bars, and, then of course there's the spontaneous and casual flamenco that is a part of every day life here in Jerez. We see it as we walk past the bars and even as people greet each other on the street with palmas and a song. Olé. We can't get away from flamenco. We hear it as we walk to our rooms; we dance it in our sleep. (I've been doing steps and hearing sounds in my dreams which I know is a good thing.)  Flamenco, flamenco, and more flamenco. 

We are one week in to the Fall Flamenco Tour to Jerez, and I can hardly believe it. So much has happened and there is still so much more in store! People often ask me what happens during the Flamenco Tour, so below you can read about the first week of the fall tour, see photos, and even watch a video from one of the peña shows . . .

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Be Careful | The Weekly Letra

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Be Careful | The Weekly Letra

Today's letra(s) comes from Cuatro Soneto de Amor by Rafael de León. This is the second part, which you can see Mayte Martín sing live (Ten Cuidao) in the video below.

Me avisaron a tiempo: ten cuidado,
mira que miente más que parpadea,
que no le va a tu modo su ralea,
que es de lo peorcito del mercado.

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Válgame Dios | The Weekly Letra

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Válgame Dios | The Weekly Letra

I've got a whole song for you today along with a video of Niña Pastori and Falete singing it.

Válgame Dios
J. Jimenez "Chaboli" / M. Rosa García "Niña Pastori" 

Y es la verdad
Querer así es un pecao
Válgame Dios
Que me perdone el santo Padre pero yo
No sé vivir si no te tengo ya a mi vera
Y es la verdad
Que quererte más no puedo
Y el pensarlo me da miedo
Tú no te vayas ya a equivocar
Y es que es tanto lo que te quiero
Que no lo podría aguantar

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The Strength of the Air | The Weekly Letra

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The Strength of the Air | The Weekly Letra

Below watch (and be blown away by) Emilio Ochando's award-winning piece Tinevo, which took first place in the XXVº Certamen de Coreografía de Danza Española y Flamenco, where he and three other dancers do their thing with castanets and bata de cola. They dance to this original fandangos by Los Makarines:

Fandangos
Los Makarines

Cantan las hojas,
bailan las peras en el peral,
bailan las rosas,
rosas del viento no del rosal,
y nubes y nubes flotaban,
dormían al ras del aire,
todo el espacio giran con ella,
la fuerza del AIRE.

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Sevillanas You'll Love | The Weekly Letra

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Sevillanas You'll Love | The Weekly Letra

You're going to LOVE the video below of the Makarines performing sevillanas live. The third copla they sing is an excerpt from this sevillanas and it has to do with the Rocío pilgrimage. Here it is:

Sevillanas (De: Porque El Relente Le Daba)
José Miguel Évora/Isidro Muñoz*

Porque el relente le daba
Le puse mi chaquetilla

Le puse mi chaquetilla
Porque tiritaba y yo la veía, 
Ay!

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Punishment | The Weekly Letra

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Punishment | The Weekly Letra

Below you'll find a video of El Sordera singing today's letra and yesterday's coletilla. Enjoy!

Soleá por Bulerías
Popular

Dios va a mandarte a ti un castigo muy grande
Y eso es porque tú te lo mereces
¿Ay por qué me vienes culpando?
Y yo culpa no tengo
Que de ti habla la gente

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Tangos & Tanguillos | The Weekly Letra

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Tangos & Tanguillos | The Weekly Letra

Tangos flamencos are sensual and playful. Earthy and fun. Grounded and feminine. Tangos is a four-count rhythm and can be one of the most comfortable flamenco rhythms to groove to. Check out this video of La Lupi teaching and rehearsing tangos with the Ballet Nacional de España, and you'll see what I mean. There are a variety of tangos letras of different lengths and subject matter. Here's one for you today followed by video of a very young Estrella Morente signing it.

Tangos
Popular

Cautivaron a una mora
y a España se la trajeron
y en la pila del bautismo
Candelaria le pusieron.

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Eclipse | The Weekly Letra

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Eclipse | The Weekly Letra

Today in honor of the solar eclipse (which we saw at 99% visibility here in Portland) I give you what is actually a pop song. It's by Lya whose amazing voice you can hear in the video below with Los Makarines.  

Eclipse
Lya

Qué bonito saber que el sol sueña con la luna,
porque arde en el deseo de que pudiera ser suya.
Y que al viento le da el recado de que le entregue sus besos,
y que habla con la marea para que le cuente sus sueños.

y sueña con el eclipse,
y sueña con besarla, con amarla
y sueña con el eclipse,
y sueña con besarla, con amarla, con decirle que la ama

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Fiesta Por Tangos | The Weekly Letra

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Fiesta Por Tangos | The Weekly Letra

You're going to love listening to the tangos in the video below (Trrrrrust me). And the way it's filmed makes you feel like you're right there at the fiesta, so go ahead, play along with palmas. Here's one of the letras you'll hear:

Tangos

Tú te colocas y en frente de mí,
que por si acaso yo me caigo pa' trás
empújale el columpio más

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A Tangos For You | The Weekly Letra

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A Tangos For You | The Weekly Letra

Here's a tangos letra and a video (that you'll love) of La Lupi dancing to it. Enjoy!

Tangos de la Repompa
Popular

En el cristal de mi copa
tu cara se reflejó,
y aquel poco de licor
que yo me llevé a la boca
de veneno me sirvió.
Mientes como hay Dios

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The Ultimate Bulerías Goal | The Weekly Letra

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The Ultimate Bulerías Goal | The Weekly Letra

The moon is almost full, so I've included a lunar themed letra for you. (Though this one would make more sense on a new moon...) And since yesterday's video analysis was a hit, I decided to do another. Below you'll find a video of Beatríz Morales dancing to today's letra and giving many clear examples of what it looks like to dance to the cante along with my description of where each component of the structure occurs within her dance. Check it out, and find out what the ultimate bulerías goal is.

Bulerías

Esta noche la luna a mí no me acompaña
Me voy solo pa' casa
No espero al alba
La luna se ha enfadado por no llevarla
anoche a la verbena de Santa Ana
No me enfades luna, tú no me enfades.

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Bulerías Made Simple [The Structure of a Bulerías Dance & How It Relates to the Cante]

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Bulerías Made Simple [The Structure of a Bulerías Dance & How It Relates to the Cante]

Bulerías is arguably one of the hardest flamenco forms to dance due to it's improvisational nature, complex rhythm, and nuanced cante. But dancing bulerías is less mysterious than you may think. Once you understand the components of the dance and how they relate to the music (the singing and the compás) you'll be well on your way to obtaining bulerías freedom.

Below l explain the basic bulerías por fiesta structure and how it relates to the cante. After that you'll find a video of Pastora Galván along with an analysis describing where she dances each component of the structure. Finally I give you an activity to help you internalize the information.

The basic structure of bulerías

Bulerías, like other flamenco forms, has its own language. When we dance we are in conversation with the singer, the guitarist, and the palmeros. The structure offers a formula for clear communication, and it looks like this:

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