Those of you who read my last post, know that one of my New Year resolutions is to put more music into my life. And it started well, as I had the opportunity to attend a Flamenco show.
Not a good one I have to say and still, I am impressed by the impact it had on me and others. And it made me realize that my relationship to flamenco started many years ago…it has always been there and if we start connecting the dots, it is a unifying thread in my life: our wedding cocktail was animated by a group playing a fusion of flamenco and Arabic music and this last Christmas, I actually sent out flamenco shoes to my goddaughter for Christmas.
But the other day, during the show, watching the reaction of other persons listening and experiencing flamenco reminded me about why I love so much flamenco.
We are far away from the easy Spanish stereotype for foreigners. It is the vitality and intensity that is the root of Flamenco that is fascinating…and it is a beautiful metaphore to freedom in its various ways. No surprise then that it became a couple of years ago “Patrimonio Inmaterial de la Humanidad”..
What is it then about flamenco that reminds me so much of freedom?
– It is the essence of life and emotions. It touches us by its roughness and deepness. Being free also means to embrace our emotions.
– It has no frontiers because it has travelled a long way and thus, it is a symbol of freedom and adaptation.
– It is the real expression of who we are. You don’t need to understand or know anything about it to actually feel it. It has this special impact that African rhythms have on us…it is roots based, authentic and I love this.
– It is in constant evolution incorporating different cultures and although it has a formal school, it has no real method. It flies for itself.
– Talking about the dancing, it is the expression of freedom within a corset. We tend to look for freedom outside of us. But what about also looking for freedom within ourselves? Flamenco expresses so much and the hold with which it is danced only with feet is a great hymn at also looking inside ourselves for our answers
– It is an individual dance which means you need to be in coherence with yourself in order to express your emotions to the outside world.
– You get better with the age. In traditional flamenco, young people are not considered to have the emotional maturity to adequately convey the duende (soul) of the genre. Therefore unlike other dance forms, where dancers turn professional early to take advantage of youth and strength, many flamenco dancers do not hit their peak until their thirties and will continue to perform into their fifties and beyond. It is the quest of a life!
Let’s get inspired by Flamenco in 2014: let’s be proud, emotional, authentic, vital and expressive.. and stamp with rhythm! This is the way to reach freedom!