Here is a video (that you’re going to LOVE) and a breakdown of each component of the dance and when it happens followed by an activity that will help YOU to better understand bulerías.
Pastora is sitting down with everybody else. Falete starts singing a letra to her, so Pastora gets up and begins her salida [45 seconds]
She circles around until she hears the cante resolving then faces her singer and goes into paso de bulerías [about 1:00]
She does her first llamada [1:10] followed by a short patá
She then does a marcaje with the coletilla [1:12]
And goes into another llamada and short patá as Cristián Guerrero sings her another coletilla [1:23]
She does paso de bulerías again [1:30]
Followed by her final llamada [about 1:38]
She then goes into her final [1:45] and ends facing away from the circle of people.
Notice how the singing doesn’t stop until Pastora is finished dancing. A dancer can make her final shorter or longer, and the singer will follow. The dancer must follow the singer too by listening and finishing with a caída in the cante.
Enganches and remates are not considered elements of the structure as they can be found throughout the dance and can even be considered part of another element. Enganches are used to transition between steps. Remates are used to highlight parts of the cante or dance.
Some components overlap. For example, a salida is often made up of some form of marcaje and often has a remate or enganche at the end to emphasize the caída of the cante. Pastora ends her final with a remate with the cante.
For explanations of the different components of the bulerías dance and another deconstruction (with video), see this post.
We know that we can deepen our understanding of flamenco through observation. Watching strong dancers and singers doing bulerías and analyzing what is happening is invaluable. So, find a bulerías video you like, and try to identify each element of the structure. Share a link to it along with your take on where each element falls within the clip in the comments below.
If you don’t feel like searching for a video you could try dissecting one of these:
Pastora Galván (Challenging as it is a long dance. Why do you think that is?)
Saray García (This one should be easiest because it is only the beginning of her dance.)
Mercedes Ruíz (Which element is not shown in this video?)
Carmen Herrera (She’s dancing to a cuplé.)
Talk to you more in the comments!
Want to Better Understand Bulerías?
Por Fiesta Flamenco Nights, where we learn to dance improvisational bulerías and tangos then practice with live musicians, will be starting up again later this spring.
Or join me on the Flamenco Tour to Jerez where we dance bulerías with cante just about every day! In other words, bulerías saturation.