I love asking flamenco artists I admire what advice they have to offer to the flamenco student. Here are thirteen suggestions from some of the best:
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That letra is below followed by a video of Concha Jareño dancing por guajiras. LOVE this dance.
Contigo me caso Indiana
si se entera tu papá y se lo dice a tu mamá
tengo una casa en la Habana destinada para tí ay!
con el techo de marfil
y el piso de plataforma para tí blanca paloma
llevo yo la flor de lis
My dear friend and mentor, master flamenco teacher Oscar Nieto who is based in Vancouver, B.C., happened to be in Jerez last fall during the Flamenco Tour.*
While he was there Oscar got to meet the students and observe some of our classes and activities. Below read some impressions of the Flamenco Tour that he shared with me during a recent chat:
"If someone wants to go to Spain on their own...
How do they know where to go?
How do they know who to study with?
How do they know what to do?
In your trips it's all figured out for them
In your trips they’re safe in their cocoon.
The students come back, and they’ve had a full Spain experience.
They didn’t just go to a studio and take classes, but you encouraged them to be in the ambiente, to get outside of the studio. And then they build social networks. That is really important. Especially for women who are seeking their dream to finally do flamenco in Spain.
What motivates you to continue? You, and dancers and artists like you who find the art form exciting and challenging and this in turn makes you want to improve “your art.” I guess to be fair, it’s also the art form itself. Sometimes I hate it because it can be so unforgiving, and sometimes I love it when I see beautiful dance or hear beautiful music and cante. Lots of contradictions with this art form.