Viewing entries tagged
flamenco poetry

On a Jesús Carmona Flamenco High | The Weekly Letra

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On a Jesús Carmona Flamenco High | The Weekly Letra

We were all blown away by Jesús Carmona and Company's performance here in Portland this week, "I can't stop thinking about it," one student wrote me, "The best performance I attended in my entire life. Heart stopping," another said. You can see pictures from the evening and a video below.

Now, here's a letra from the show:

Siguiriyas
Popular

Yo me puse en camino
antes del alba
cuando llegue a tu casa
ya clareaba

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Bonus Cuplé (Part 6) | The Weekly Letra

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Bonus Cuplé (Part 6) | The Weekly Letra

Today I wrap up the flamenco cuplé series with a bonus post, one more song, and a few more videos:

Un Compromiso
Alfredo García Segura y Gregorio García Segura 

Sin firmar un documento,
ni mediar un previo aviso, 
sin hablarnos, ni mirarnos
ha nacío un compromiso. 

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Bulerías de Manuel Moneo | The Weekly Letra

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Bulerías de Manuel Moneo | The Weekly Letra

Flamenco singer Manuel Moneo passed away earlier this week. 

The huge mural of him that you see in the picture above was steps away from where we study bulerí­as on the Flamenco Tour to Jerez in the historic flamenco neighborhood of San Miguel. (You can see a video on the making of the mural below.)

Manuel was known for his siguiriyas and soleá. Here you can watch him singing martinete in Carlos Saura's movie, Flamenco.

To sing flamenco well one needs to be able to feel and to love,

~ Manuel Moneo

He talks about this concept in the video interview below where you'll not only hear some of his story but also learn about the importance of el Barrio San Miguel, La Plazuela, to flamenco. 

But first, let's listen to him sing por bulerías (con mucho arte). Here is one of the letras you'll hear:

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How To Dance to a Cuplé (Part 5) | The Weekly Letra

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How To Dance to a Cuplé (Part 5) | The Weekly Letra

You've heard many examples of different artists singing cuplés in the previous four posts. Now it's time to see how one dances to a cuplé, and I've got one of the best possible examples for you, Carmen Herrera. Following the video I'll talk about how to dance bulerías to a cuplé then share one of the songs you'll hear and its translation.

Let's begin by watching Carmen as she dances to the singing of father and sons Alfonso Carpio "Mijita," Alfonso Carpio "Mijita Hijo," and José Carpio "Mijita." They are at a juerga at Peña de la Bulería in Jerez. The video is queued to begin where Carmen starts dancing at 4 minutes 30 seconds (though I'm pretty sure you'll want to go back and watch the whole thing at some point.) Today's song begins about five minutes in. The guys share in the singing, and it's kind of impossible not to get excited watching the interplay between them. 

While you watch, notice how Carmen's dancing changes as the song progresses. Notice how she reacts to her three singers and where she puts her remates. Notice when she brings the energy up ...

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The Strength of the Air | The Weekly Letra

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The Strength of the Air | The Weekly Letra

Below watch (and be blown away by) Emilio Ochando's award-winning piece Tinevo, which took first place in the XXVº Certamen de Coreografía de Danza Española y Flamenco, where he and three other dancers do their thing with castanets and bata de cola. They dance to this original fandangos by Los Makarines:

Fandangos
Los Makarines

Cantan las hojas,
bailan las peras en el peral,
bailan las rosas,
rosas del viento no del rosal,
y nubes y nubes flotaban,
dormían al ras del aire,
todo el espacio giran con ella,
la fuerza del AIRE.

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Sevillanas You'll Love | The Weekly Letra

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Sevillanas You'll Love | The Weekly Letra

You're going to LOVE the video below of the Makarines performing sevillanas live. The third copla they sing is an excerpt from this sevillanas and it has to do with the Rocío pilgrimage. Here it is:

Sevillanas (De: Porque El Relente Le Daba)
José Miguel Évora/Isidro Muñoz*

Porque el relente le daba
Le puse mi chaquetilla

Le puse mi chaquetilla
Porque tiritaba y yo la veía, 
Ay!

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Happy International Dance Day  |  The Weekly Letra

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Happy International Dance Day | The Weekly Letra

Today in honor of International Dance Day, I have a couple of videos to share with you that will surely make you want to move. You'll love how into it Paloma Fantova gets in the first video. After that watch Parrita sing today's letra. 

¡Feliz Día Internacional de la Danza!

El Agua Más Cristalina (Chorus)
El Parrita

El agua más cristalina
El vaso más reluciente

El mejor mantel que tenga voy a ponerle
No viene a cenar cualquiera

Viene el señor de señores
Y el rey de reyes

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Today I Want To See You | The Weekly Letra

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Today I Want To See You | The Weekly Letra

Today a bulerías by Luis de la Pica along with a video and a rhythm and coordination activity for you to do from home.

Bulerías                
Luis de la Pica

Hoy tengo ganas de verte   
echo de menos tus labios                            
del color del pino verde

Today I want to see you
I miss your lips                 
the color of green pine

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Fandangos Naturales | The Weekly Letra

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Fandangos Naturales | The Weekly Letra

Ever experienced pain and sorrow and struggled to truly feel into it even though you knew you needed to? Today's letra and video might be able to help with that. Below find a fandangos letra and a video of Rocío Márquez.

Fandangos

La pena grande que se llora
con las lágrimas se va;
la pena grande es la pena
que no se puede llorar;
esa no se va, se queda.

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How I Messed Up Dancing Bulerías, What I Learned & How it Can Help You | The Weekly Letra

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How I Messed Up Dancing Bulerías, What I Learned & How it Can Help You | The Weekly Letra

I want to share a story with you about how I messed up dancing bulerías last weekend, how it left me feeling not so happy about my dancing, eight important lessons about flamenco (and life) I learned in the process, and how those lessons served me when I applied them to a sticky situation in my life.

So last weekend I took a workshop with Alfonso Cid. He shared bunches of bulerías letras with us (you'll find one below) and gave a very informative introduction to flamenco, with a focus on cante. He had us all singing and doing palmas and even got some of us up dancing.

Toward the end of the workshop someone asked Alfonso to address how to dance bulerías por fiesta, how to dance to the cante. (As you know, this is one of my favorite things.)

Yay! (and Olé).

Some people got up to dance, mess up or not mess up, and learn along the way. 

I was one of those people.

And here is what I learned:

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I Don't Tell Anyone | The Weekly Letra

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I Don't Tell Anyone | The Weekly Letra

Mercedes Ruíz, our teacher on the Flamenco Tour to Jerez, was awarded the 'Flamenco Hoy' prize for the Best Flamenco Dancer of 2015 (Mejor Bailaora). You can watch a new video of her below as well as read a flamenco letra on love.

Today marks two weeks since my return from Jerez.

Of course it feels good to be home, but I do miss the daily dance classes, shared meals and community, the immersion into the Spanish language, hearing and seeing flamenco everywhere, the southern Spanish sun, the pace of the day, and the escape, the simply being away.

Thankfully I got to come home to my absolutely amazing friends and loved ones, our incredible flamenco community here, and the beautiful state of Oregon. And thankfully I had flamenco already built into my schedule with our summer workshops and teaching at the Oregon Ballet Theatre

If only I could still have class with Mercedes every morning . . . 

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Quality Before Quantity | The Weekly Letra

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Quality Before Quantity | The Weekly Letra

Today I want to share a bulerías dancing tip with you along with a letra.

Let's start with the tip

When I'm in Jerez on the Flamenco Tours, Ani offers all kinds of quick and dirty tips.

Here's one:

Calidad antes que cantidad.

Quality before quantity

Sometimes it's so enticing. We're exposed to a bunch of cool steps. We can't stand to leave any of them out, so we try to squeeze them all into one pataita. 

And things get sloppy

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I'm Going to Talk to the Moon | Viernes con una Letra

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I'm Going to Talk to the Moon | Viernes con una Letra

On the last Flamenco Tour to Jerez the ladies spent a good amount of time in the bar talking to José Luís and Maribel (our hosts). This is often the case as they are quite fun to chat with, and they make us feel at home. (Some people don't speak Spanish. I'm convinced this makes the conversations all the more fun.) So Luís loves flamenco letras and happily shares them with us.

One day Stefani and I were sitting at the bar, and she asked him if he was an aficionado. He told us that he wasn't but that he used to be. He said that when he was younger he would go to the peñas and keep up with what was going on in the flamenco world. He told us he is no longer as dedicated.

Anyway, when you walk into Luís and Maribel's bar you see a big wooden bureau to the left with a man's face carved into it. That man is El Torta.

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