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flamenco songs

The Juerga Cuplé (Part 4) | The Weekly Letra

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The Juerga Cuplé (Part 4) | The Weekly Letra

Today I share with you a video of Manuel Lombo doing his thing at a juerga in Spain. While the previous posts in the flamenco cuplé series have featured more polished videos, this one is completely raw. Not only in its quality but in the nature of the singing. It takes place at a juerga, spontaneous and natural. Manuel begins singing letras then moves to cuplés, with plenty of dancing in-between. He is backed by a chorus of jaleos and palmas that help us to feel the energy in the room. 

But before we watch anything, here are the words to the final song, written by Mexican composer and songwriter Álvaro Carrillo. I love the part of the video where Manuel sings this song. From the collective olés upon hearing his first line, to the crowd joining him in singing at the end to the part where he dances himself off ... 

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The Flamenco Cuplé (Part 3) | The Weekly Letra

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The Flamenco Cuplé (Part 3) | The Weekly Letra

You've now learned what a cuplé por bulerías is, you've seen the transformation of popular song to cuplé, and today I want to show you one more example. It's Adela la Chaqueta's interpretation of Voy a Perder La Cabeza Por Tu Amor. (I know you'll enjoy her opening and closing dance moves, and if dancing is your thing, stick around because the next two posts will have plenty of that.) 

Voy a Perder La Cabeza Por Tu Amor
Manuel Alejandro (music) /Ana Magdalena (lyrics)

Voy a perder la cabeza por tu amor
porque tú eres agua, porque yo soy fuego
y no nos comprendemos.

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From Copla to Cuplé (Part 2) | The Weekly Letra

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From Copla to Cuplé (Part 2) | The Weekly Letra

For this second installment of the flamenco cuplé series, I want to show you the transformation of a song from its original form into a cuplé por bulerías. So here is a song famously interpreted by Rocío Jurado. First watch her sing it directly to Lola Flores (watch it all the way through to see what happens between the two of them at the end) then see how Fernanda de Utrera adapts it as a cuplé por bulerías.

Se Nos Rompió El Amor
Maria Alejandra Alvarez-Beigbeder Casas / Manuel Alvarez-Beigbeder Perez

Se nos rompió el amor
de tanto usarlo. 

De tanto loco abrazo
sin medida. 

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What's a Cuplé? (Part 1) | The Weekly Letra

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What's a Cuplé? (Part 1) | The Weekly Letra

In the first installment of the flamenco cuplé series I'll explain what a cuplé is and show you a video example. But let's begin by looking at this one that Ani sang one day during bulerías class on the Flamenco Tour to Jerez. It was so pretty, so I asked her to tell me the words:

¿Quién se ha llevao mi amor?
¿Quién me ha dejao sin nada?
¿Quién se ha llevao todo el sol
que entraba por mi ventana?

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The Ultimate Bulerías Goal | The Weekly Letra

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The Ultimate Bulerías Goal | The Weekly Letra

The moon is almost full, so I've included a lunar themed letra for you. (Though this one would make more sense on a new moon...) And since yesterday's video analysis was a hit, I decided to do another. Below you'll find a video of Beatríz Morales dancing to today's letra and giving many clear examples of what it looks like to dance to the cante along with my description of where each component of the structure occurs within her dance. Check it out, and find out what the ultimate bulerías goal is.

Bulerías

Esta noche la luna a mí no me acompaña
Me voy solo pa' casa
No espero al alba
La luna se ha enfadado por no llevarla
anoche a la verbena de Santa Ana
No me enfades luna, tú no me enfades.

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Bulerías Inspiration (a video) | The Weekly Letra

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Bulerías Inspiration (a video) | The Weekly Letra

Lately I've had bulerías on my mind . . . I've been watching bulerías, listening to bulerías, dancing bulerías (in class, at home, in my head).

Naturally, the moves I'm currently working with during the 10-Day Dance Like You're In Class With Mercedes Ruíz Home Challenge are por bulerías.

So, today I offer you some bulerías inspiration via a video of Manuel Liñan dancing and a letra that David Carpio sings to him. There's also a quick activity for you at the end of the post. (I know, I'm big on activities this week.)

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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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Eres Como Los Judíos | The Weekly Letra

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Eres Como Los Judíos | The Weekly Letra

I just returned home from Jerez, and naturally, I'm missing bulerías.

I have a letra to share with you today. It's one that David Lagos sang during our private show there, but before I do, I want to tell you a quick story.

It's one that Julie, a student on the Flamenco Tour, shared with me just before she departed Jerez.

On her last morning there, Julie took a final stroll around the city before she caught her train to Granada. On her way back to the apartments she found herself behind an older couple walking down the street. T

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Alegrías by David Lagos Part 4 | Viernes con una Letra

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Alegrías by David Lagos Part 4 | Viernes con una Letra

Another letra from this alegrías by David Lagos and one more video that I'm pretty positive will make your day all kinds of better as soon as you watch it.

Alegrías
David Lagos

A un lance de su capote
suenan la palmas en la plaza
y es que torea en la plaza
vaya torero Rafael de Paula

With a throw of his cape
the clapping sounds in the bullring
because he is bullfighting in the bullring
Wow, the bullfighter Rafael de Paula

You can hear this letra at 2 minutes 30 seconds, but I highly recommend watching the whole thing, especially one minute in when he sings his tri tri tri trans and the very end.

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The Sky and the Land | Viernes con una Letra

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The Sky and the Land | Viernes con una Letra

Bulerías

A Letra from Otra Galaxia (Other Galaxy)
Antonio Humanes, José Monge Cruz (Camarón)

Yo me pregunto mil veces
mi paso por este mundo
y a quién le debo mis alegrías y mis penas
¿Será al cielo y a la tierra
o a los senderos ocultos de la esfera?

I ask myself a thousand times
my path in this world
and to whom do I owe my joys and my sorrows,
to the sky and the land
or to the hidden paths of the globe?

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Alegrías by David Lagos Part 2 | Viernes con una Letra

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Alegrías by David Lagos Part 2 | Viernes con una Letra

Awhile ago I posted the first letra of this alegrías by David Lagos along with an unbelievably wonderful video of him singing it live accompanied by his brother Alfredo Lagos. Today find one more not to be missed video of David performing it live along with the first letra.

Alegrías
David Lagos

Que es chiquita y salerosa
no le pongáis tanta falta
que pa navegar yo tengo con mi barquita que me basta y sobra

She is small and charming
don't underestimate her
to sail I have my little boat who more than fills me

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Three Things That Get Me Out of a Funk | Viernes con una Letra

I want to tell you about some things that help me to feel better when I'm in a funky place. I also want to show you a very cool video and share a flamenco verse with you. But first, some words I wrote last week

(my first week back home post Flamenco Tour)

Coming home I feel overwhelmed.

This is not new.

It is how I usually feel after a trip to Spain. Excited to be back but overwhelmed and sort of confused at the same time.

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