Friday, September 13, 2013

On dancing flamenco

Some words about a very personal experience that happened at my flamenco class yesterday.

'Chest open! Chin up! Stand taller, look higher than you normally would' shouted our flamenco teacher. 'You are dancing tarantos! When you dance tarantos the audience should cry!'. We laughed. 'Try and make me cry! I want to see lots of feeling!'. We laughed again: who will cry watching us dance under that awful sports hall light, covered in sweat? OK, maybe we can try this. How can I put lots of feelings into it, give it more intensity? Then I think about my dead. I imagine them in the room, sitting on the floor in front of the mirror, watching me dance. My grandmother, my aunts, my friends. They give me 'feeling', they make me dance more intensely, those people who will never see me dance. How can I impress them? I concentrate more on my elbow (drop it down, drop it down), on my weight when I lean forward (not too much), on my balance. It's kind of working but of course they are not there. Wherever they are, can they hear me stamp? I stamp harder, louder than I did before, in the hope that the sound will reach them. Pa-ra-tat-tat! Hello it's me I am dancing for you! Can you hear me out there? I get home and I think about this moment again, and how morbid it is: really, I should think about my friends that are alive and present, and how I would dance tarantos for them. I talk to my partner about important things, I sign some papers about buying a flat. Moving forward. Chest: open. Chin: up.