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performances

Sorrow in My Soul | The Weekly Letra

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Sorrow in My Soul | The Weekly Letra

When we were in Jerez we spent a lot of time at Tabanco El Pasaje watching flamenco. You can see shows there just about every afternoon and night. Below you can see a video of Juan Loreto dancing soleá por bulerías.

Soleá por Bulerías
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Qué pena tengo en el alma
se murió la madre mía
cuando se anunciaba el alba

What sorrow I feel in my soul
my mother died
when dawn came

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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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Day 2: Dance As If You Were in Class with Mercedes Holiday Challenge

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Day 2: Dance As If You Were in Class with Mercedes Holiday Challenge

My niece is participating in the challenge with me. In part.

She loves flamenco and started taking regular classes this spring after taking a class with Ricardo in Santa Barbara.

“Do you want to do some of Mercedes’s exercises with me?” I asked her on Christmas Day.

She did.

She knew what to expect as she had sat through her class in Jerez a coupe of times. (My nieces spent some time with me and the group in Spain last spring, and Margot happily, patiently, and voluntarily sat through hours of class with Mercedes.)

“Are we going to do the one with the hands?” she asked me as she stretched her arms out imitating the exercise, this exercise.

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Nine Things To Do Before You Perform

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Nine Things To Do Before You Perform

People are feeling nervous.

Nervous and anxious about the Student Showcase on Saturday.

I know this feeling.  Well.

So I thought I'd repost these tips today, performance tips.

Whether you're performing in front of your friends in class,

at a show in front of the public,

or even just in your own bedroom in front of your cat,

There are things we can do to ease our nerves ...

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Come Back | Viernes con una Letra

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Come Back | Viernes con una Letra

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.

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A Story about Akiko

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A Story about Akiko

I wrote and posted this story about two years ago.  I was so inspired by Akiko that I wanted to repost it today, with a few adjustments. Today when I am feeling overwhelmed and stressed out about all kinds of things.

Today when I am feeling shut down and scared to perform this weekend, as I so often get.

Today when I need grounding and inspiration.

Today I need to remember Akiko in the springtime in Sanlúcar...

Allow me to tell you a bit about Akiko, one of the many inspiring people I've met during my time here in Jerez.

Not too long ago Akiko began taking classes in Japan from Harumi, an incredibly graceful flamenco dancer from Osaka who básicamente seems to have mastered las bulerías de Jerez.  She even co-teaches with Ana María López at la Peña los Cernícalos when she is in town.

But back to Akiko.  

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Things to Remember Before a Performance

It's almost time to perform, and I'm worrying.  I've felt this way before... But I guess I needn't worry so much.  At least I don't have to get up in front of the whole audience to talk and start crying instead.

Anyway, so I decided to take myself for a walk to the farmer's market to get some fresh flowers.  Only there was no farmer's market because it's Saturday, not Sunday.  Oh yeah.  But it got me out walking.  And a walk is always good for me.   I walked and went through some steps in my head.

Now I'm giving myself encouragement.  I'll be there sharing the stage with people who are wonderful and supportive!

And I'm writing myself some notes, some reminders for tonight and tomorrow.

Here are some things to remember before (and during) a show...

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What Three Dancers Had to Say

A couple of weeks ago we had a performance.  Abby, Julie, and Kikuyo, three members of the PFE Performance Group took part and danced fabulously, absolutely fabulously.  I was so happy to be on stage with them, dancing together, supporting one another.  I loved seeing how they each embraced their performance selves because they really truly did. As you may know, I love to interview people, so I asked these lovely dancers some questions.  And I thought you might want to hear what they said.

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No Soy Bailarina

I have this thing in me that shows up a lot, Doubt, which I guess comes from Fear.  It keeps me from doing all kinds of things, or has me do things kind-of-sort-of rather than completely.  It bothers and annoys me, though I suppose it might have important things to tell me, perhaps it is there for a reason. I don’t usually know why or what it has to tell me, but I’d like to start paying more attention and perhaps find out.

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Mensajes de Músicos - Messages from Musicians

So Toshi keeps asking me to do these shows with him.  I am considering myself to be very lucky.  And I am considering the rehearsals to be like free concerts, free concerts for meeee! Then today during our rehearsal for Sunday's show at Tupai, I realized the musicians were sending me messages.  Many many messages.  Although I know they weren't meaning to send me messages nor were they aware that they were doing so. Pero los músicos me mandaban mensajes, hoy en el ensayo, muchos mensajes sin saberlo.

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