Viewing entries tagged
singing

How to Have a Party | The Weekly Letra

Comment

How to Have a Party | The Weekly Letra

One year comes to an end, another begins. Which means ... It's time to party! Read Manuel Machado's words on how we might do this flamenco style, and watch a video of Montse Cortés and Chonchi Heredia singing it live with Paco de Lucia below.

Then check out the end of this post where I share four flamenco events I'm looking forward to in the coming year.

(Bulerías)
Manuel Machado

Una fiesta se hace
con tres personas: 
Uno baila, otro canta
y el otro toca. 
Ya me olvidaba
de los que dicen ¡Olé! 
y tocan palmas.

Keep Reading

Comment

Impossible For Me To Believe | The Weekly Letra

Comment

Impossible For Me To Believe | The Weekly Letra

I'm still in a bulerías mood as I prepare to head to Jerez for the Flamenco Tour in a couple of weeks. 

And so, today I have a video clip to share with you of a little girl from Jerez named Triana dancing bulerías (her signature dance of course) for Rafael Amargo. She starts off by singing the following letra then dances while her dad sings and plays guitar for her. You're going to love it.

From Veo Amanecer
Lya

Imposible me parece de creer,
que me enamoré de ti cuando solo te vi una vez,
y ahora te recuerdo y te recordaré,
como aquel bello gitano que me hizo enloquecer. 

Keep Reading

Comment

Tangos, a Video & an Activity | The Weekly Letra

Comment

Tangos, a Video & an Activity | The Weekly Letra

I'm still on a high from last weekend's tangos workshops. Por eso, a tangos letra for you today along with a video of Rocío Segura singing all kinds of letras, and an activity to improve your tangos dancing from home.

Tangos de la Repompa

Mamá, mamá no quiero eso,
Mamá, mamá no quiero na,
Quiero que vengas a verme
de tu propia voluntad

Mom, Mom I don't want that,
Mom, Mom, I don't want anything,
I want you to come to see me
of your own accord

Keep Reading

Comment

Fandangos Naturales | The Weekly Letra

Comment

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.

Keep Reading

Comment

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

Comment

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?

Keep Reading

Comment

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

2 Comments

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:

Keep Reading

2 Comments

Caña | Viernes con una Letra

Comment

Caña | Viernes con una Letra

We're studying caña with Mercedes right now. (Here in Jerez on the Flamenco Tour that is.) Watching her dance while listening to Santi play the guitar can make it hard to focus on the steps. I'm sure you can imagine . . .

Below is a letra written by Paco López for her show Perspectivas.

Caña
Paco López

Ya la nieve se hizo agua
de tanto llover
Los ojitos tengo secos
de sembrar y no recoger

The snow has turned to water . . .

Keep Reading

Comment

Alegrías by David Lagos Part 4 | Viernes con una Letra

Comment

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.

Keep Reading

Comment

Loving You | Viernes con una Letra

Comment

Loving You | Viernes con una Letra

Malagueña de Chacón

Voy a dejar tu querer
por el hablar de la gente
pero ten por entendido
que me va a costar la muerte
el haberte conocido

I'm going to stop loving you
because of what people say
but understand
that having known you
is going to cost me my life

Keep Reading

Comment

How to Dance to the Cante

Comment

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.)

Read More

Comment

I Don't Even Want to Look at You | Viernes con una Letra

Comment

I Don't Even Want to Look at You | Viernes con una Letra

On the past two Flamenco Tours to Jerez we've had a cante class with José 'El Mijita.' Exciting, Scaaaary, and FUN! You can see video of that at the end of the post.

Above is one of his favorite letras to sing por bulerías; it's one we worked on in the classes.

Why do we study the cante?

We do it to expand our understanding of flamenco as a whole. Because as we know, the dance does not exist on its own. We do it to broaden our understanding of the language of flamenco. To learn new things. And, of course, to have fun...

During the class last spring Lily, one of the students, held onto Héctor Raúl for the duration of the class. She wasn't quite sure why, but I'm pretty positive it was a subconscious act done for support.

Because this experience took people out of their comfort zones.

Keep Reading

 

Comment

Bulerías de Jerez | Viernes con una Letra

Comment

Bulerías de Jerez | Viernes con una Letra

I'll be honest. In the beginning, I wasn't a huge fan of flamenco singing.

It wasn't that I didn't like it.

It intrigued me that's for sure. But I didn't feel inclined to sit around and listen to it a whole bunch.

It didn't take long before that changed.

I guess it happened early on during my time in Sevilla, on that first flamenco trip.

And actually, while I was initially drawn to the baile, the cante played a huge roll in getting me hooked on flamenco ... and keeping me in it.

Just like the compás.

And now,

Well, you know how it is now.

Which brings me to the letra:

Keep Reading

Comment

Flowers... because spring is here | Viernes con una Letra

Comment

Flowers... because spring is here | Viernes con una Letra

Quite awhile ago I published this letra. It was fall not spring when I posted it, and at that time I was preparing to embark on the VERY FIRST FlamencoTour to Jerez. Now as I get ready for the sixth (yes sixth!) tour, I'm re-posting it because:

#1: I've been admiring the daffodils blossoming all over Portland,

and

#2: It needed a picture. It never got a picture.

Enjoy:

Yo vengo vendiendo flores
las tuyas son amarillas
las mías de míl colores

I'll get to the translation in a moment,

But first let's talk about words

The same letra, different words. I love this about flamenco.

Keep Reading

Comment