Ok, so getting back to bulerías... I already told you about how I happened to get hooked on bulerías. And there are many stories to go along with that. Both Happy Tales (like seeing El Torta perform in Jerez last April...in a place I wasn't supposed to be, but where I went anyway) and Horror Stories (ok, perhaps not horror stories - all of the Halloweenness appears to be affecting my language - we'll call them Crying in Bulerías Class Stories.) But those can wait for later.
Right now let's just focus on some important things to know about Bulerías de Jerez, some of the cositas I referred to the other day...
In Bulerías de Jerez, we come in with the singing of a letra, a letra!!! Repito, we come in with the cante, more specifically, with the letra. We come in when we feel inspired, but we must listen and use the cante as a guide. El cante manda. As dancers, we listen and respond, in our own personal way.
And what else?
We stay in compás. (We DEFINITELY stay in compás...or at least we quickly get back in if we fall out!)
We keep it brief.
We need not get fancy. This is a baile por fiesta. Nos relajamos. Lo pasamos bien!
If this still seems scary and too open, it doesn't have to be. If the word improvise makes us want to run away forever and never come back, no hay problema. You see, we can even follow a "choreography" - as long as it fits the structure - making minor adaptations as we go along in order to reflect the cante. In other words, we can use a set piece that follows the structure as an outline, a flexible outline.
Now, if the word adaptations feels scary, not to worry, it's really not as hard as one might think. It's just a matter of learning how to make some modifications, often minor ones. You can come to the Understanding Bulerías Workshop and see what I mean.
So, as I've mentioned in the past, I used to have major bulerías fear. But, I've toned it down. How so?
- By truly understanding the structure
- By listening and listening and listening to the cante
- By understanding the compás
- Oh, and by remembering to have fun…
We'll explore this more on Saturday. Hasta entonces!
So, bulerías, what do you think about them? Let me know.