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.
It is Halloween, and I just returned home from the peña. I am in Jerez.
On the way I saw a family dressed up in zombie-style Halloween costumes. Their two dogs were dressed as jack-o-lanters.
At the peña
We saw Manuel Agujetas Hijo sing with Domingo Rubichi accompanying on guitar.
Below is a letra por fandangos that he sang.
(You can hear El Chocolate singing it here.)
No me quites la botella
que yo me quiero emborrachar
no me quites la botella
voy a beber de verdad
y a ver si no pienso en ella
y yo la consigo olvidar
Another tientos today.
Because we've been dancing tientos with Mercedes here in Jerez, and this is the letra that she has been singing to us.
Yo no tenia puertecita en que llamar
yo no tenia na más que la tuya
y me la encuentro claveteá
From Jerez last fall ...
Sunday night I was writing
About flamenco and Jerez and what I'm doing here and what I want to learn here.
And I set some intentions for the week.
I had a few.
One was to Observe
To observe people dancing bulerías. In class and out. Anywhere. Especially people whose dancing I liked.
To watch them, really watch them. And to notice what was happening.
I told you that today I'd tell you about going to see Estrella Morente in Córdoba. So today I'll share a video of Estrella Morente and a song she sang at the show.
I want to tell you about the end of the show...
when she sang Volver as an encore.
A bit further down in the post you can see a video of her performing it and looking very beautiful.
She does it as a bulerías. I discovered that it was originally a tango, not the flamenco kind, the Argentinian kind, by Carlos Gardel and that the words were written by Alfredo Le Pera.
We'll get to the song in a moment,
But first, about the show in Córdoba.
One more tangos that David was using with us last week...
Viva Málaga la bella,
tierra de tanta alegría,
que si a prueba me pusiera,
por ella daría la vida
Long live Malaga the beautiful,
land of so much happiness,
that if she put me to the test,
for her I would give my life
Those are some madroños from the Mercat Central here in Valencia.
I remember going there in 1998, the first time I came to Spain. It was February, and there were no madroños.
Anyway, the fruit lady told us to eat them as-is. No washing. No doing anything to them.
We followed her instructions.
La que quiera madroños vaya a la sierra
olé Morena vaya a la sierra
porque se están secando sus madroñeras
olé morena sus madroñeras
Last night we were doing palmas with Pedro.
It's something we do when we come to Jerez.
Naturally people had many questions
Someone asked to do some palmas por alegrías
... since we'd been dancing alegrías with Mercedes.
Pedro talked about las alegrías de Córdoba. He mentioned the letra about the platero.
Ricardo asked me how things were going here in Jerez.
I told him everything was great
Everyone was happy. We were hearing tons of flamenco. Doing tons of flamenco. Learning a lot. The weather was nice...
"Todo bien," I told him, except that I felt like my body looked weird when I danced.
"Andaaaaa. Tu cabeza si que es rara."
"Come on! Your head is what is messed up," he told me.
This morning in class
we were talking about tonight's show at the Villamarta, the Homenaje a la Chaty. I can't wait to see it.
Mercedes will be performing, along with Santi and Perico and all kinds of other great artists. Pastora Galván, Arcángel, Jesús Méndez... Even my boyfriend will be there.
So anyway, somebody asked her what she would be dancing in the show. They were hoping it would be alegrías since that's what we're learning from her in the workshop.
"A ver si Laura puede adivinar lo que yo voy a bailar…"
"Let's see if Laura can guess what I'm going to dance."
I have a bulerías letra to share with you today.
We got to Jerez on a Friday. But I forgot that it was Friday. We went from Paris to Madrid. From Madrid to Sevilla. And from Sevilla to Jerez.
And we were here.
I ran some errands. We had tapas in the bar. Then Maribel gave us all caldo. Yum.
Now it's Saturday. It's almost siesta time, and I can feel it.
Earlier I ran into my bulerías teacher walking down the street. She was getting her groceries. As was everyone else.
And soon we'll all be dancing bulerías...