Thursday, July 8, 2010

El Flamenco

El Baile el Flamenco

The music first takes you south, down to Andalusia, southern Spain. There is heat and sun in the music, from the lone guitar, male voices and drumming accompaniment. There is something lonely and breathtaking in the sound that is brought to life further when the dancer enters...

She is proud, stately. Her movements combine severe precision with Spanish sensuality. Every woman in the audience stands a little taller, they are all wearing summer dresses or skirts. Tonight is a night for being a woman, down to the smallest girl. My heart pounds with the rhythm of the music, takes flight in the dance that is el flamenco.

There are quiet moments, when the only thing moving are her feet, then the hands release the skirts and dance their own dance. With the grace and exactitude of a ballerina, her hands interpret the music, beguile and enchant. The music, too, in turns is hushed, rippling and flowing, but charged with an undercurrent of what is to come. With a harsh tap of the dancer's foot, it changes, reverses direction and takes off yet again.

I am enthralled by the dance, the energy, the music. I am not alone. The whole town, whole families, come out each year for the festival of "el arte del flamenco" in Mont-de-Marsan, five hundred miles from Andalusia, but in the very south of France, where bull-fighting, dancing and music are the reason for the summer.


  1. Flamenco has always captured my imagination. The women are the very epithome of femininity, yet so powerful and passionate. How fortunate those that can see a life performance such as you described....

  2. Aren't they amazing? And I tend to forget, but the men are very passionate about the music as well. Ah, but Carmen has always been my favorite opera, so I guess the dancers win out over the musicians for our hearts as a whole, or at least in Flamenco.


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