Spring is not quite here, but Feria is on my mind since my students and I will be presenting at the Feria de Abril en Los Alamitos. Good times! But as Flamencas, we sigh longingly at those other dancers that are planning to visit Sevilla during the Feria de Abril.
The Feria de Abril en Sevilla is an annual week long festival. It usually starts about two weeks after Easter and this year runs April 25 – May 5.
Some serious dancing, eating, drinking and socializing takes place during the Feria. There are carnival rides and many little tents or “casetas” that belong to eminent local families, groups of friends, businesses, clubs, trade associations and political parties. Most of the “casetas” are private and open only to members and their guests. However, there are some that are open to the public.
As dancers, we just love, love the dresses and the flowers that we see at the Feria. So feminine and fun!
Sevillanas is the partner dance that is danced all day and all night during the Feria. It’s a set choreography in 4 sections or “coplas” but there are unlimited amounts of personal variations in the form of tempo, styling and musicality. You can definitely learn one style of Sevillanas and dance with someone who has a different style because you both will be turning and passing each other at the same time so it all works out!
I was first introduced to Sevillanas even before I started taking flamenco classes! I was studying in Spain and had travelled to Sevilla. My travel companions and I met some guys (this is in the way before time of my current married life LOL) and asked them to take us out dancing. They took us to a bar that only played Sevillanas over and over and over again. So, I “learned” that first copla in between drinks. I don’t think I was very successful at it back then but it was soooooo much fun.
Now, Sevillanas isn’t technically Flamenco, but we dance them a lot in tablao shows or student shows and they can become “flamencofied”. Every flamenco dancer needs to learn these at some point! Here are a few of my favorite interpretations.
Sevillanas Actuales (from the Carlos Saura movie)
Sevillanas en la Caseta “Los Duendes de Sevilla” (footage from the Feria)
Sevillanas con Manuel Reyes (footage from tablao show)
Sevillanas de La Farrcua y Sergio Bueno