GUEST POST: Reflections from the experiences of Portland flamenco dancer Jackie Howard Kraybill, "La Juanita," at the Festival de Jerez in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.
April 1, 2011
Reflecting back on our time in Jerez for the 2011 Flamenco Festival, it is hard to decide what was most important in making it such a special trip.
First, the great classes: Ana María López teaching the subtleties of timing and gracia in the Bulerías de Jerez; Marco Flores (be still my heart!) teaching a cute and challenging Alegrías. But for me the pinnacle of classes was the one with La Rafi - Rafaela Carrasco. She taught a Serrana, which was a new palo for me and helps the "learn one of everything before I hang up my shoes" list. The choreography, rhythms and movements were as challenging as expected - the first day I thought I was going to pass out from fear. But over the days my confidence grew as I was able to keep up (it was a Medio level class filled with Spanish professionals!) and actually learn and execute the steps. It was an exhilarating feeling, that's for sure. Part of the reason this art form is so addictive!