Wednesday, 4 January 2012


We arrive at the Flamenco School on time after quite a trek through narrow steep winding streets, it says on the beautiful old door: Escuela Carmen de las Cuevas. It is too dark to photograph, we must hurry. We are led into a cellar-like row of vaulted small rooms, introduced to dancers, guitarists, singers... onto the small studio where the advanced dancers are already warming up. As in every dance studio, the performers are NOT wearing the 'stage' finery! But comfortable warm'cool clothing, also always lots of water bottles, it is very dehydrating exercise! One wall of a dance studio is always mirror.
Paul and I look at each other and grin... interesting... the size of the room, the lights,the reflections... how are we going to keep OUT of the picture?
The teacher comes in, he shows the ladies some steps, they follow, the floor starts to shake and 'thunder', it goes right through you! What an experience! The rhythm is wonderful, I see the important attention also on the hand-movements. The counting goes on, the clapping, the feet so fast.
A guitar player comes in after a short break... a deep swallow of water and they're off again...

It is a Bulería, which originated in Jerez during the 19th century, originally as a fast, upbeat ending to soleares or alegrias. It is among the most popular and dramatic of the flamenco forms and often ends any flamenco gathering. The name bulerías comes from the Spanish word burlar, meaning "to mock" or bullería, "racket, shouting, din". It is the style which permits the greatest freedom for improvisation, the metre playing a crucial role in this. Speed and agility are required and total control of rhythm as well as strength in the feet which are used in intricate tapping with toe, heel and the ball of the foot.
Paul and I are transfixed... then it is over... Silence, the smell of perspiration, the sounds reverberating, atremble still, our adrenaline still pumping...  one young lady stays behind, slides down, takes off her dancing shoes, massages her feet, takes care of the blisters...
A wan smile, we say good-bye and thank you, disappear into the night, silent and still very affected by the whole thing. Another unique experience!

Thanks, hope you enjoy? M, (*_*)

A small series of 9 images.

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Ellen S. Jarvis said...

Dear Magda ... I came across your blog on a day when I've been down, feeling judged and unworthy. As you can likely tell from how long I trolled, your images but moreover, your stories, are inspiring. You've made my gloomy day here on the east coast of the U.S. far brighter and even tolerable. I just want to say how utterly beautiful you are, inside and out. My soul has breathed in your photographs, and I feel fulfilled. Thank you.


Hans Knikman said...

nice series Magda, must have been a fine experience!