Today I’ll share an activity to help you understand bulerías more deeply.

I also want to show with you a different version of this letra and a video of Tía Juana dancing to it at the Peña la Bulería caseta during the Feria de Jerez. (Spring is here and feria season is on the way.) I’ll highlight key points in the video to assist you in making sense of bulerías.

First, the letra. I’ve heard many variations of this letra, most often as soleá por bulerías (see the second video of Miguel Lavi) but also por bulerías and even por tangos . . .

El día que me eches de menos
tú vas a venir en busca mia
como un caballo sin freno

The day you miss me
You will come looking for me

Like a horse without a bit

Watch how Tia Juana dances to it por bulerías in the video below:

Things to Notice in the Video:

  1. “Antonio” never stops singing for her. Your singer will not abandon you in bulerías.
    Notice how she enters with the cante and leaves with the cante.

  2. She is dancing on a floor tile, figuratively, that is. This bulerías is small and short, fiesta-style!
    Put yourself in her place. How would you dance if you had that much (or rather that little) space?

  3. The jaleos. So many jaleos. Jaleos and palmas form the backbone of the bulerías. They are consistent and energetic, creating the feeling. Without jaleos bulerías could not exist. (You can’t see him, but you can hear Zorri, the Ambassador of Happiness himself, giving jaleos.)
    Where do you hear the jaleos happening? How often are they given?

  4. The palmas. There’s no guitar, just cante, jaleos, and palmas. Together the palmas create the compás.
    Listen to the different patterns people play and when they do what they do relative to the cante and baile. How do they affect the dynamics?

I suggest watching at least one more time, paying attention to all of this and practicing your palmas and jaleos.

Observation is one of the most valuable learning tools available, so . . .

. . . Watch LOTS of bulerías,

  • And observe carefully.

  • Analyze what is happening between the dancer and the musicians, especially the cantaor.

  • Identify the different elements of the structure.

  • Then imagine how you might dance in that same situation.

  • BONUS: Pinpoint the type of cante and notice how the dancing reflects that (longer, shorter, more subdued, more energetic…)

Deepen your understanding of bulerias through observation

Deepen your understanding of bulerias through observation

*Really, you could follow the above steps to deepen your understanding of any flamenco dance, not just bulerías.

Download your own copy here.

Here’s another version of today’s letra:

El día que me eches a mi de menos
te tienes que volver loca
y vas a venir a buscarme
como un caballo sin freno

The day you miss me
You’ll drive yourself crazy
And you will come looking for me

Like a horse without a bit

You can hear Miguel Lavi sing it like this as soleá por bulerías at 1:15 in this video:

And one more variation:

El día que me eches de menos
tú vas a venir a buscarme
como un caballo sin freno

The day you miss me
You will come looking for me

Like a horse without a bit

You can hear Camarón sing it here at 1:45 like this (más o menos).

Check this out for more variations (and examples of) this letra.

What did YOU Notice

What things did you notice from the video of bulerías at the feria? What did you learn about bulerías? Could you identify the different parts of the structure? What did you discover by watching other bulerías videos? Which videos did you watch? Please share in the comments below.

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