Confessions of a Flamenco enthusiast!

This weblog is where I share my love and enthusiasm for Flamenco with the world. Events, my upcoming gigs, as well as featured items like Flamenco shoes, fans and mantons available at Edie Hats, will all be here. As well as my thoughts, musings, and inspirations! If you are interested in what I have to say on other subjects, check out my MySpace page and my Flickr photos.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

"Triana, Triana que bonita esta Triana..."

It's the morning March 15th, and I'm sitting in bed with my doors open to the sounds of Seville waking up. The sun is just starting to break over the rooftops, the doves are cooing, and my favourite pair are sitting together kissing on the ceramic spire of the building across the street.

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The Ceramic Spires I see from my window

We really scored with this apartment. We’re able to use the roof as a practice studio, so don't have to rent, one. Other flamencos come and visit, eat dinner stay over and give private classes. It's been flamenco heaven.

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The Roof a.k.a. The Studio

This morning Bonnie is going to run through with me what we did in my class yesterday with Juana Amaya. I think Juana has a style that suits me, not the fashion in dancing right now that I'll describe as "Modern Curly Confusing Flamenco". My realistic and time limited 50 year old self, went to the general classes and realized if I was going to use anything that could be picked up in 3 weeks here I'd better be directed and focused about it...not be afraid of what anybody thought...(especially Juana Amaya) and figure out myself what I wanted to take back. I gathered my courage, and asked her to give a me simple Solea in which I can concentrate on the aire. I told her (through Bonnie) about my confusion with mirrors and unusual learning difficulties...other than her thinking me very very odd, I think I got my point across. She was very patient with me.

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Juana Amaya and Edie

As for what I saw in the big classes... HOLY OLYMPIC FOOTWORK. These classes are not for the faint of heart or the untrained! Another trend or "fashion "(if you can describe learning trends that way) is super complicated footwork and heavy rhythm patterns. Hardly believable let alone achievable without devoting your entire existence to it. (and some people DO) There are girls that have been here in Seville studying for years. Amazing...but not very achievable, useable, or realistic for anybody in the world of Vancouver gigging.

Having said that...last night we saw a show of the MOST AMAZING musical rhythmical, IMPOSSIBLE footwork. Manuel Lina, Olga Pericet, and Marco Flores did a show with an amazing group of artists backing them. I swear...I saw last night the kind of work that has upped the bar here. It made me want to be 6 years old and starting out.

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Esperanza Singing

Forget the nunnery, "GET THEE TO A FLAMENCO CLASS"!

It was the most spectacular display of human ability -


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Tablao in Seville

The world of Flamenco inside Spain is a different reality than Flamenco in the rest of the world. Of course it couldn't or shouldn't be any other way. It is indeed the Mecca...the petri dish...the cradle...the grocery store of Flamenco to the world. The place where we all choose something to take away, and cook up our own things. It even isn't mainstream in Spain...the Flamenco Puro is still a specialized almost lost, and independent art form. People that we have met who live in Seville, for the most say they don't know much about Flamenco...but they are glad it exists. The young people are generally not so interested in the old stuff. There is much opinion here that it is in danger of being lost.

What I saw last night is only ONE company, ONE style...of the new evolving flamenco that is being performed. And it is nothing short of a an artistic miracle what is happening and originating here...and being shown in the rest of the world.

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Looking into the alley way, one night later protesters filled the streets

The reality for these artists is that they have a very very hard time making a living as Flamenco artists in Spain. The professionals have to tour other countries like Germany, Japan etc etc. Teaching us junkies that come from all over the world is partly how the artform stays alive. And it is a constantly evolving artform...struggling to survive by some people's opinion.

You would think the average Spaniard would be knowlegable about the different forms of Flamenco...but
really...other than Sevillanas...(the folk dance that is the focal point of the huge city party here called Feria.) Generally , ordinary people don't know much more about Flamenco than the tourists do. People that we have met who live in Seville, have told us that no-body is interested much that lives here. They say that don't know much about Flamenco...but they are glad it exists. The young people are generally not so interested in the old stuff. There is much opinion here that it is in danger of being lost.

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The other end of the Alley

BUT once you are in these areas in Southern Spain that ARE the centres and you know where to go - it is a Flamenco junkies' heaven. The only problem is there is too much to choose from. Where do you start to observe and learn? Like any drug of choice - if there are unlimited amounts available, you could just gorge...spend a hedonistic month just plunging in - eating up as much as you can, without necessarily retaining anything...getting burnt out and mighty sick.

Hmmmm...sounds really, really tempting. YUM! GIMME! my case (and like life in general for me.) I figure out painfully (for that entails being honest about what I am needing most, and capable of achieving), what my goal much of a financial debt I can get away with racking up...and stick to the plan.

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I'll miss the view from my apartment in Spain

And then (because I am a fashionista/performer/ex-costumer) I will search for the right dress and accessories to match the dance. Fashion as a way of life...and my business. Work research - REALLY !!!! (sigh...and yes...I do realize this is also a thinly disguised female justification to shop!)

1 comment:

Poisonivy2406 said...

Hi Edie,
I just visited your Website the first time while I was searching for the song "Tangos de Triana". I visited Sevilla in Oct. 2006 to take Flamenco-lessions and language courses. The picture of the Tablao in Sevilla is very nice, "La Carboneria", isn't it?? ,-)) i spent long and wonderful nights in this bar and if you want, contact me to talk about Sevilla! Warm Flamenco-Regards from Germany, Nicole