Many of us learn and study long choreographies.  They are challenging and, as I said, long. Then we learn short snippets.  Which, by the way, are also challenging.

So, how to know when to dance what?

I'll get to this soon.  But first...

We've been doing a lot of tangos this year.  Mostly in a por fiesta setting.

And it's been fun.

Lots of dancing, lots of smiling, lots of attitude.  Attitude in a good way, that is.

So last week during teoría we were talking about how the dancer responds to the cante.  Well, how everyone responds to the cante, when a really good question came up.

A student wondered how everyone knew to transition in the movie Flamenco when Belén Maya came out to dance.  I absolutely love that segment.  And not just because my boyfriend is in it. There are so many reasons to love it.

So, basically, the student was wondering...

What if you are at a fiesta and you want to do that?  How do you signal for that?

Ahhh, good question.

The answer is...You don't.

Because this example is not in a por fiesta setting.  It was rehearsed, planned out, specifically for that scenario.

In other words, this is not what Belén Maya would be doing at a casual gathering.

For one thing, she probably wouldn't have that much room.  But, more importantly, that's not what flamenco in a por fiesta setting is about.

Which leads us to

The two main settings for flamenco

The por fiesta setting and the theatrical setting.

The por fiesta setting

This is the laid back, casual, improvisational flamenco.  The kind that happens spontaneously at a party or a bar.  The kind that one has not previously rehearsed with musicians.  This is not the flamenco of the stage.  Well, sometimes it happens on stage, often at the end of a show, often with the musicians and singers doing the  dancing... This the practical flamenco.  The flamenco we just do.

The theatrical setting

This is flamenco that has been choreographed and rehearsed over time.  It is planned out.  It often has a concept behind it.  It may be traditional it may be contemporary.  It may be a little of both.  It can be performed by a company of dancers or just one dancer.  It may have elements of improvisation, but when they occur is decided upon in advance.  It is the flamenco show.  The flamenco that is performed.

We'll be learning how to give jaleos to tangos in the por fiesta setting.  It's a one day multi-level workshop and should be lots of fun.

Oh, and about fiestas, our first juerga of the summer happens this Friday.  And all are welcome.

I would love to hear what you think.  Click here to leave a comment.

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