Five days in, and the Flamenco Tour is well underway. I'll tell you a bit about that (and share photos) in a moment, but first, a fandangos letra for you...
There have been all kinds of shows going on here in Jerez. Below is a letra that we heard Alberto Sánchez, 'El Almendro' sing yesterday at the Peña La Bulería with José Manuel Alconchel accompanying him on guitar. They came straight from playing at Tabanco el Pasaje and were well warmed up. It was an intimate afternoon show in the front salon of the peña. We arrived early and got seats and drinks. It was a small but enthusiastic crowd, and everyone was there to enjoy and listen, except for one guy who kept talking who the guitarist stopped to lecture mid-show.
And now for that letra,
Hice una cruz en mi ventana
y juré de no hablarte más,
pero llegó el cierto día
que la tuve que borrar
porque sin ti yo no vivía.
I put a cross on my window
and I promised not to talk to you again,
but the day came
that I had to erase it
because without you I could not live.
About The Flamenco Tour
The Flamenco Tour officially kicked off Wednesday evening with the opening night tapas reception at our 'home' here in Jerez. From Washington to Texas to Israel we gathered to share flamenco stories and get to know one another over food and drink.
We began our first full day with technique class with Mercedes Ruíz in her studio (formerly the Peña La Bulería) which warmed us up well for bulerías with Ana María López at Peña Los Cernícalos. After that everyone was more than ready for some food and rest, so we enjoyed a meal together outside in the shade at La Antigua Cruz Blanca. After a short siesta we went for round two of classes with Mercedes starting off with castanets then onto a bit of fan technique followed by choreography.
But the day wasn't finished yet! After class we headed over to visit Fatima (one of Mercedes's seamstresses) to do a bit of shopping. You can always count on having fun at Fatima's. Later that night, some headed to a flamenco show, but most just went home to rest after the long day.
The following day was much the same minus the shopping. The ladies caught another flamenco show that evening and some even went to an afternoon show during our siesta time. So much flamenco!
The next day, Saturday, we spent the first part of the day with Mercedes working on technique, choreography, and castanets. After some food and rest, some of us headed down the street to the Peña La Bulería for an afternoon show. We came home and practiced palmas then met up again later for tapas and another show. Most went home to rest afterward though some went on to but another show. (Saturday night can go on for as long as you like in Jerez.)
Today, Sunday, we've been taking it easy. We had a practice session early in the day then many explored the city on their own (and in the rain). We'll see who has the energy to go out and see more flamenco tonight. As for me, I plan to practice bulerías with whomever wants extra preparation for Ani's class tomorrow and to take it easy at home. (Stretching is definitely in order.)