Viewing entries tagged
por fiesta

Deepen Your Understanding of Bulerías

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Deepen Your Understanding of Bulerías

You asked me to analyze more videos around here to better understand how flamenco dance works, so today I will deconstruct another bulerías of Pastora Galván. So here is a video (that you’re going to LOVE) followed by a breakdown of each component of the dance and when it happens:

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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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Fiesta Por Tangos | The Weekly Letra

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Fiesta Por Tangos | The Weekly Letra

You're going to love listening to the tangos in the video below (Trrrrrust me). And the way it's filmed makes you feel like you're right there at the fiesta, so go ahead, play along with palmas. Here's one of the letras you'll hear:

Tangos

Tú te colocas y en frente de mí,
que por si acaso yo me caigo pa' trás
empújale el columpio más

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Practice Bulerías With This (Video) | The Weekly Letra

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Practice Bulerías With This (Video) | The Weekly Letra

If you like exploring how letras can vary, if you're looking to practice bulerías to cante at a comfortable speed, or if you just want to get better at bulerías, then consider today's post a treat. You'll find a video with examples of one letra interpreted in two different ways along with a short activity to help you train your ear and get better at improvising.

First, the letra:

Bulerías
Popular

El sitio donde te hablé
ganas me dan de volverme
y sentarme un ratito en él

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Dance Bulerías With Greater Ease (One Important Concept to Help You)  | The Weekly Letra

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Dance Bulerías With Greater Ease (One Important Concept to Help You) | The Weekly Letra

After today's letra you'll find that video I promised you of Mercedes Ruíz dancing at this year's Fiesta de la Bulería (and really getting into it) followed by an explanation of what's happening at the end between the dancer (Mercedes) and the singer (David Carpio) along with an important concept to understand that can help you when dancing bulerías por fiesta by yourself. (I've also included a short activity for you to do at the end.)

Bulerías
Popular

No sé por qué será
me duelen más que las mías
las penas de los demás

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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 to Improve Your Bulerías Without Moving Your Body | The Weekly Letra

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How to Improve Your Bulerías Without Moving Your Body | The Weekly Letra

Last week I wrote about some challenges I experienced while dancing bulerías and eight lessons I learned in the process. I'm not about to let those lessons go to waste, so I'm holding myself accountable by reporting back to you: Below I share one simple way I've been actively applying those lessons. It's something you too can do, today, to improve your bulerías. (You'll also find a letra at the end of the post.)

So as you know, I learned that I needed to practice more and listen more. One thing I've been doing that addresses both at the same time is to squeeze them in while driving in the car. 

How?

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Quality Before Quantity | The Weekly Letra

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Quality Before Quantity | The Weekly Letra

Today I want to share a bulerías dancing tip with you along with a letra.

Let's start with the tip

When I'm in Jerez on the Flamenco Tours, Ani offers all kinds of quick and dirty tips.

Here's one:

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

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A Student's View of Learning to Dance Flamenco in Jerez

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A Student's View of Learning to Dance Flamenco in Jerez

A couple of weeks ago, Virigina, a Flamenco Tour alum, sent me the following account of her time on the Flamenco Tour to Jerez. If you're curious about what happens on the Flamenco Tour, read on... 

My Trip to Jerez

by: Virginia O'Hanlon

I have danced and taught Afro Cuban, Haitian and Brazilian dance for many years. I'm the sort of explorer who likes to "go to the source" so I have gone to these countries many times on dance/study trips. There were a few great trips, some ok, and two really miserable experiences. 

I'm fairly new to flamenco -had 2 years in at the time of this trip- but became intrigued by the "por fiesta" dances so I started looking around for ways to study in Spain, particularly Jerez. I discovered Laura's trips, and it seemed like a structure that would work well for me, so I went last October. It was without a doubt one of the best, richest experiences that I've had, and here are some reasons why.

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One Thing We Need to Understand About Letras | The Weekly Letra

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One Thing We Need to Understand About Letras | The Weekly Letra

Today I'm going to talk about how the same letra can (and definitely will be) interpreted in different ways by different singers. I'll also talk about why, as dancers, we need to pay attention to this. And finally, I'll share a tangos letra with you. (Oh, and at the end of the post I give you an activity to do from the comfort of your own home.)

How the same letra can vary

Depending upon who is singing, how they like to sing a given letra, and even how they are feeling at a given moment, one letra can be interpreted in many different ways.

Let's look at some examples:

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How to Dance to the Cante

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How to Dance to the Cante

Dancing to the cante. It is what every dancer from Jerez does, professional or non.

It is the dancer conversing with the singer.

In order to dance to the cante,

You must become familiar with the letras (song verses) and engage with the singer when dancing.

To gain familiarity with the letras:

1. Listen a lot.

2. Take a cante class, and study the letras.

To engage with the singer when dancing:

1. Observe what other good dancers do. (Hint: Notice the way Carmen responds to José in the video.)

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How to Improvise in Por Fiesta Flamenco Dances

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How to Improvise in Por Fiesta Flamenco Dances

Improvisation in flamenco. It's not as tricky as you may think.

Today I explain how to improvise in fiesta style flamenco dances.

The truth is, if you follow certain principles, you can improvise no matter what your level. So if you think you're not ready to do this, think again, and read on to find out how.

Improvisation Por Fiesta

In order to 'improvise' when dancing bulerías and tangos, you must understand the structure. And in order to truly have a conversation with the singer and the other musicians, you need to do a bit of improvising. Since flamenco is a conversation between the singer, dancer, guitarist, and palmeros, improvisation is an important skill to develop.

(Plus it's fun.)

But don’t worry,

Improvising por fiesta is not making up a dance from scratch as you go.

It is not coming up with brand new moves in the moment.

It’s actually much easier than that (as long as you know the structure).

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Part 2: How to Simplify Your Bulerías (And Your Life)

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Part 2: How to Simplify Your Bulerías (And Your Life)

This is a story about how doing less in bulerías can serve us well. It's the follow up to the previous post on observation. Read on, and find out how to simplify your bulerías and perhaps even your life a bit too.November 2013, Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

She said she was going to show them how to dance on a losa.

Pequeña,

Y por fiesta.

Small,

And party style.

It was Ani who said that. Ana María López. She said it on a Monday morning in Jerez.

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