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Should I Put Myself Out There? (& Why Should I Listen to Flamenco Music?) | The Weekly Letra

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Should I Put Myself Out There? (& Why Should I Listen to Flamenco Music?) | The Weekly Letra

Thinking about that first trip to Spain in 1998 has reminded me that I need to step it up in the doing things that scare the *#%~&> out of me category. Read on for a lesson around that idea and more of my story from that first trip. Also, find out why it's essential to listen to flamenco music, read a letra about Sevilla, then see a video of Juana la del Revuelo, Aurora Vargas, and Remedios Amaya ...

During my time in Sevilla I saw these women perform. During my time in Sevilla I saw these women perform live. As you'll see from the video below, it was wonderful. Their CDs were among some of the first I purchased once I accepted the fact that I needed to start listening to flamenco music. You see, in the beginning I wasn't very interested in listening to the music, especially cante, unless I was dancing, but Chris convinced me to start listening. He said I needed to do this to understand and internalize the compás.

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11 Things I Accidentally Learned during rehearsal. Again

I was rehearsing with Kuma the other day  when I accidentally learned a bunch of lessons. All lessons that I'd learned before, as so often is the case.

He was playing cajón.  I was dancing.  And not long into things, the re-noticings started coming.  One after another.  I had to keep running over to my phone to write them down. Because I was so excited.  And because I didn't want to forget.

After awhile, on account of one of the noticings, I realized it was time to stop running away from our practice to write them down.

This was important.  

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Intuition and How Flamenco Makes it Stronger

I've told you before about how much I learn from flamenco. And I don't mean how much I learn about flamenco. Naturally I learn a lot about flamenco. But I'm talking about other things. Flamenco has kind of become one of my mentors.

Sí, un mentor para mí.

Trust

I have some issues when it comes to following my intuition.

I want to hear it. I want to trust it. I want to act on it.

If only it were that easy.

Fortunately flamenco has a lot to tell me about that.

Bulerías especially. Because with bulerías there are certain things I need to do. And as it turns out, these things also assist me in going with my gut.

Be there completely

Focus and attune to what is happening with the palmas, guitar, cante, jaleos. Be there, truly be there.

Be Present

Listen a lot

To the compás. To the guitar. To the palmas. To the cante. When I'm dancing and when I'm not. Listen and really get to know it.

Listen

Allow what needs to happen to happen

I must let myself feel the music. And let myself feel whatever I'm feeling.

Allow

Respond to what I hear in a way that feels right to me

Follow what's happening with the music. Respond to the signals I pick up on. When the singer resolves, let my body reflect that.

Act

Flamenco requires trust. If I don't trust while dancing, well, then, I’m only kind of sort of doing it.  And, by the way, I still find myself there often. But, it's okay. Because each time I do and notice and reflect on it, I learn something about myself.

Your thoughts? I'd love to hear them. You can leave a comment.

The next bulerías series begins this Saturday.  All of the info is here.

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Lessons from First Graders y Más

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Lessons from First Graders y Más

k, so I'm not in Flamenco Land anymore, but here is más o menos what I've been up to in Portland flamenco-wise during the month of June, followed by a little taste of what my friends were busy with in Jerez.

Getting Back to Regular Classes I was beyond excited to begin teaching again, inspired by my time in España and ready to share new insights and material.  And I still feel this way, motivated just being at the studio with friends and students.  There were many cookies in class to celebrate during those first couple of weeks and even fake cava.  Actually, the cookies continued showing up throughout the month.  And about the classes, hmm, Palmas has possibly been my favorite thus far providing the most unsolicited laughter.  We played around with many funky patterns and got into some nice grooves.  I love the collective energy we generate doing this; it just feels so good, and therapeutic.  

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A Snippet from Jerez

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A Snippet from Jerez

I am feeling quite behind in blog publication.  Every day I feel pressed to get something up but don't end up doing so.  Rather than wait any longer and add still more to my collection of daily notes and beginnings of entries, please allow me to express to you briefly some of what has been going through my mind here in Jerez lately.  

There are many things I wish to write about how flamenco permeates this city. 

Like how just this afternoon on my way home from bata class with Mercedes I heard an old guajiras recording playing as I walked by a house on La Calle Duende. Or how yesterday during siesta on our way to meet a friend for afternoon café the two little boys walking in front of Diana and me were discussing fútbol when suddenly and seemingly without any awareness of it one started doing palmas and singing never losing sight of the conversation he was having with his amigo. Junquerita, who often comes to sing for our bulerías class told me that here in Jerez the scent of flamenco is everywhere; there is no need to go looking for it.  

That may be an understatement. 

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