Wow! We had a great show this weekend! Here are just a few pictures taken from some audience members. I can’t wait to see the video! This was definitely the best show we’ve ever had. I kind of already say that after every show. But I REALLY MEAN IT this time.
These dancers have grown so much in their abilities, I’m just in awe! Their technique, their stage presence, their knowledge of flamenco. All of it! I’m one proud flamenca mama bear.
But I wanted to share some of my take-away thoughts from the whole experience.
* As a dancer, it’s YOUR responsibility to be as clear as possible with the musicians with your movement. This is especially true if you’re signaling for a letra (singing verse) to begin, if you’re prepping to begin an escobilla (footwork section), or if you’re trying to raise the tempo. An example is if you don’t end your llamada super duper clear, then the guitarist won’t resolve with you and the singer won’t know to start singing!
* This is also true for me as the choreographer!! If you don’t have the luxury of having tons of rehearsals with the musicians, then it’s so important to have easy choreographies. I don’t mean they have to be easy in the technique department. But they do need to follow a nice basic structure without any crazy surprises and they need to have very clear transitions.
* It’s nice to be in the safety of a group number since if you blank out on a move you’ll have someone to cue you. But it’s still important to understand where all the accents are in the choreography and to hit.those.accents.hard with your upper body. Oh, and SMILE if it’s a happy dance. That makes you feel happy and it definitely eases the audience to enjoy your dance!
* When you do a solo, you need to have a very, very firm grasp of compás (of course), truly understand the components of your solo, and be comfortable improvising even if it’s just a super simple marking. I say this because we all blank out in our choreography (I totally still do,) and we need be able to not freak out! You’ll need to do SOMETHING until you can remember what you’re doing and move on.
* If you get to go out for a pata’a of Bulerias, then going simple yet confidant is best. At the end of the show, you’re tired, maybe frazzled. You don’t want this last piece to break you! LOL!
* For these shows, I’m usually sitting down the entire time. Then my solo comes at the end, so I’m no longer truly warmed up. I always have a musician play a little solo so I can slip back stage to change into a new dress and do my instant warm up. I’m sure I look ridiculous doing it but it helps me to instantly turn on my fire. I first bounce and shake to get the blood moving. I then stand with my feet hip width apart and inhaling deeply while lifting my arms up. Then I exhale forcefully while bring my arms down and really pushing my abs in towards my spine. I finish it by visualizing that my body is rooted to the earth and my roots go deep, deep down into the earth and I draw up the earth’s energy into my body. Before I step out onto the stage I remember how I want to feel while I’m dancing: flamenco puro, electric, firecracker, etc. and I try to feel it right then and there.
I hope you find these helpful in your own performance endeavors. Hit reply and let me know what you think!