Guajiras is a palo of flamenco that’s super feminine, languid, and humid. The music originated in Cuba and was brought to Spain and became “flamencofied.” These kinds of palos are called “de ida y vuelta” or “roundtrip” because they come from someplace else. Many of the lyrics of Guajiras mention a beautiful Cuban woman and walking the streets of Havana with a nice cigar!
It is mid to fast tempo in 12 count compás and is generally danced by women, but sometimes you’ll see men dance it with some light energy. Many dancers use a fan or bata de cola, or even both! We also see some dancers where white with lace dresses, reminiscent of colonial-wear.
The structure of a dance of Guajiras is similar to all the others:
- Salida (singer & guitarist start, dancer makes entrance)
- Llamada (rhythmical accent from dancer that “calls” the singer to sing)
- 1st Letra (1st verse)
- 2nd Letra
- Falseta (guitar interlude)
- Escobilla (footwork section)
- Bulería (fast ending letra, which is actually the letra of Guajiras sung faster)
- Estribillo (chorus that the dancer ends with)
Of course, there are many variations to this structure. There can be more letras and falsetas. Or there can be more spots for different escobillas.
Here is a video with Angeles Gabaldón- beautiful, flirtatious fan work and dancing! Here’s a breakdown of her video. See if you can follow along! I LOVE her styling and how she blows the fan closed at the end. *chef’s kiss*
- Guitar Solo
- 5:30 falseta
- 5:58 letra
- 7:25 falseta with dancer
- 8:30 escobilla
- 9:00 llamada
- 9:10 letra
- 10:10 llamada
- 10:25 falseta
- 11:20 escobilla
- 12:23 letra
- 13:15 falseta
- 14:25 escobilla
- 15:30 llamada
- 15:35 buleria
Enjoy these other wonderful Guajiras videos!
Classic scene from Carlos Saura’s Flamenco movie with dancer Merche Esmeralda
Karen Lugo with her “geometric” dancing. Love!
Here is a sample of a Guajiras choreography I have inside the Online Flamenco Studio, danced with a fan and for intermediate/advanced dancers.