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Hooded Mergansers

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Repeat Performance?

No, not exactly.  Last night Bill & I went to another flamenco performance.  This was our 3rd show, but all three have been in different theaters and the artists have been different as well.

Of the three, last night's performance in the Mercado del Arenal theater was the best one yet.  It would be hard to surpass.
The theater is in a huge building...  don't know what it was once used as, but now is the Arenal Market.  During the day there are many stalls selling vegetables, flowers, clothing, a couple of restaurants, a belt-making operation and much more.

But at night...  the huge theater comes alive....
Two nights a week are Flamenco performances, and on Wednesday, Friday and Saturdays is the Opera.

Like the other shows we've attended, there is a pattern to the evening events. 
The guitarist plays traditional Flamenco music on the Spanish guitar.  Then a singer (we've heard mostly male) comes on stage and with intense emotion sings....  the gypsy and moorish culture is evident in these songs....  

The next part has been a female dancer...
Using her shawl and her long train behind her dress, she tells a story (no words needed...  the gestures and body language is so precise...  so intense)

I have no idea how much that dress must weigh, but I'll tell you, that lady could be a weight lifter! 
We were in front row center seats so had a terrific view of the footwork.  Fantastic!

Her hair was so traditional... 
 Straight back and caught up in a snood.  Yeah... one of those things your Grandma might have worn...

While she is dancing, the guitarist is playing... 
The men in the background are singing...  but also they clap to a specific rhythm...  also using their feet (not exactly stomping, but think of stomping in a graceful way)...

I wish I could show you how fast her feet and legs move...
Her dancing shoes don't need taps as the platform where they dance is a sheet of (probably) plywood forming a stage.  It's just like dancing on a huge drum. 

 This artists dance is more sensual than the others that we've seen. Much more body language and body expressions...
Look at the train on this dress...  it's amazing how she can make it twirl around her legs...  then kick out and spread it behind her.  All parts of the dance.

After her performance, the male dancer comes on stage.
 Tall and slim, this guy was a fantastic dancer.  
One of our classmates Naoko, is from Japan.  She went to the later show last evening.  She had her picture taken with this dancer after that show.  I think she's in love ;-)

One thing different about this dancer than the others we've seen is that he often smiled (kind of a dreamy smile to himself) while the others we've seen are often so intense they look almost angry.
Maybe it's the song they're dancing to...  since I don't know any of the words maybe he's dancing happy....
At any rate, he was quite good.  I cannot imagine moving so fast and with such precision for one minute, let alone the 10 minutes or so his solo dance was.

After his solo dance, the lady comes back on stage.... 
 Again... it looks to me like they play out a story of intense emotions....

The precision and exactness is so pure...
You just feel the intensity of it all....

And then the finale... 
A final curtain call...
Many "Ole"s, some Bravos...  and a few loud whistles!  Lots of applause!

And we headed home....

That's All For Today!

7 comments:

  1. That must be a very tense, but enjoyable experience!

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  2. How do they keep from stepping on that long skirt?

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  3. This looks amazing! So hard to find truly good Flamenco (not the touristy kind). I wish I could have been there.

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  4. That looks like an exciting evening. Too bad you can't get some video clips. Thanks for all the great pictures.

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  5. Flamingo dancing is so passionate and beautiful. I wish I could dance like that, to express my longings, my moods, in such fashion. Sometimes I envision myself conducting dramatic and whimsical music, in a storm, from a cliff top.

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  6. I love hearing about all the things you're enjoying in that exotic place. Thank you for sharing so generously!

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  7. Well described. I learned more about the flamenco from your post than I ever knew about flamenco.

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