Bulerías is arguably one of the hardest flamenco forms to dance due to it's improvisational nature, complex rhythm, and nuanced cante. But dancing bulerías is less mysterious than you may think. Once you understand the components of the dance and how they relate to the music (the singing and the compás) you'll be well on your way to obtaining bulerías freedom.
Below l explain the basic bulerías por fiesta structure and how it relates to the cante. After that you'll find a video of Pastora Galván along with an analysis describing where she dances each component of the structure. Finally I give you an activity to help you internalize the information.
The basic structure of bulerías
Bulerías, like other flamenco forms, has its own language. When we dance we are in conversation with the singer, the guitarist, and the palmeros. The structure offers a formula for clear communication, and it looks like this:
Today's letra has me dreaming. I wish it had occurred to me a couple of weeks ago while in San Diego when Margot asked to learn a new song. Because this one feels just right for my sobrinas.
I want what it speaks of.
Un puente. Yes, a bridge. And I would make it a magic bridge. A bridge that could take us over a thousand miles in mere minutes. Oh the visits we would have!
Anyway, we can sing it together next time.
For today, I share it with you.
Today a tangos letra and a video of Jesús Méndez and Miguel Poveda.
You may recall last year when three little girls did fandangos.
A couple of weeks ago when I went to visit those girls Margot and Ada almost immediately started asking when we would get to do flamenco. My spring visit there was so short that we didn't do any. None at all. Apparently they weren't going to let that happen again.
Margot said she wanted to learn a new song and dance this time. And she said she wanted it to be short since we were without a lot of time.
We did tangos.
And while I'm not really into vengeance, this letra was on my mind. And it met Margot's requirement of being short.
Here's a video of Jesús Mendez from that show we saw the final night of the Spain Tour. Go to 10:15 to hear today's letra and to see Jesús's mother-in-law sing it. Watch her.
Watch it all. You'll see lots of good stuff. Like Perico playing cajón and palmas.
Que cosita más sensible
es pelear con la muerte
y alcanzarla es imposible
What I don't want right now
For Katie to leave today.
But she has already gone...Last Sunday when everybody else left, I felt like a mother whose babies were leaving. Even though I don't really know how that feels.
What else don't I want right now?
For myself to leave...
Read on for a video of Miguel Poveda, Jesús Méndez, and Perico Navarro and a beautiful letra by Antonio Gallardo.
Ok, so I told you that I might share some bulerías tesoros directly from the mouth of Ana María López with you today or tomorrow. Well, it's not happening today because I just got this great email from Becky. Becky is a student. She came on the Spain Tour.
Below you'll find an email that she sent to her husband.
She passed it along to me. and I asked her if I could post it. She was sending it to me for me, but she very graciously agreed.
I read it as a series of snapshots showing how life has been going here in Jerez, which is why I wanted to share it with all of you. So, here you go, from Becky...