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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 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 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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Mercedes | The Weekly Letra

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Mercedes | The Weekly Letra

Today's post is not a flamenco letra; it is an acrostic that was written for Mercedes Ruíz when she was about eleven years old. It is written on this photo that hangs on a wall at the Peña Los Cernícalos. 

Mercedes
Es, Jerez de la Frontera,
Rica sal de Andalucía,
Conquistando a España entera,
Ella se llama altanera,
Dichosa, como su abuela,
Este nombre de solera
Soy niña de la Plazuela.

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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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