Here is an excerpt from José Galán’s Cierra Los Ojos y Mírame followed by the live flashmob direct from the Bienal de Sevilla with José Valencia and María Terremoto singing.
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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:
Yo me puse en camino
antes del alba
cuando llegue a tu casa
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:
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 ...
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:
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.
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,
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 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
Today a bulerías by Luis de la Pica along with a video and a rhythm and coordination activity for you to do from home.
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
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 . . .
I'm in Jerez.
One by one the Flamenco Tour students are arriving. It's so exciting.
Tonight we get to know each other at the opening night tapas reception. Then we'll go to the Peña los Cernícalos to watch Ana María López's Fin de Curso. Tomorrow we begin our workshop with Mercedes Ruíz. The next day we start our bulerías class . . .
And so, a letra por bulerías.
Today I want to share a bulerías dancing tip with you along with a letra.
Let's start with the tip
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.
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.