Keeping In Touch With Spain

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Keeping In Touch With Spain

As a flamenco dancer, travel is part of our job, particularly travel to Spain. When I reminisce about Spain, I talk about the beautifully colorful streets, the sunny weather, the jamón, the olive oil, the wine. I miss the day to day life. But travel to Spain isn’t a vacation for a flamenco dancer–it’s a time to study, to grow, to understand the culture from which flamenco grows, and to study and learn and immerse yourself in flamenco. It’s not a one time thing either; living there for a year (in my case) isn’t enough, especially because flamenco is always evolving.  I think it’s crucial to stay in contact with the center of flamenco and its culture. It’s not necessarily true that you must go to Spain–I think people can dance incredibly well without ever going to Spain (and vice versa, people can spend years in Spain and never become a great dancer).

Taking class in Sevilla about 2 years ago with Manuela Ríos.
I miss taking class every day! 

Being in touch with what is happening in Spain is important. Continuing to grow as a dancer is crucial, the moment you stop growing as an artist is the moment your work becomes stale and uninteresting. 
I keep telling myself, as soon as I have a nice chunk of time (1-2 months) with no major work opportunities, I’ll head to Spain to immerse myself, refresh my knowledge of flamenco, study, rehearse, and get inspired with new material. Yet I keep having work and projects here–which isn’t a bad thing at all–I learn so much here and get to work with my colleagues from Spain, and of course make a living. Nevertheless, I know that very soon a trip to Spain is due. In the meantime though, I’m thankful for modern technology, i.e. the internet, that let’s me keep up with the highlights from the festivals in Spain and what’s going on over there.

Performing in Sevilla with guitarist Tudela,
who I ran into in Denver just a couple weeks ago!

I also try and keep in touch with my friends from Spain. And it’s funny, you never know when you’ll run into a flamenco–I ran into the guitarist I worked with in Sevilla at a performance in Denver! He was in town promoting his new disc, “Terciopelo.”

With Carlos Heredia on Christmas in Sevilla.

News from Spain also travels very quickly. Unfortunately this week, flamenco lost two great artists, La Faraona and Carlos Heredia. Their photos and many people’s homage to them flooded my Facebook feed as news of their passings was shared. They were both artists I came into contact with in Sevilla and they will be greatly missed by flamencos across the world.

Here’s a video of La Faraona:

Just about a week ago the Festival de Jerez finished up, so there are lots of new videos to watch and I’m inspired by all the new shows by established and up and coming artists. Several of us on tour spent an afternoon catching up on all the videos from Jerez and commenting and critiquing what we saw. Here are a few of the videos:


And here is a link to deflamenco’s coverage of the festival:
http://www.deflamenco.com/revista/especiales/especial-19-festival-de-jerez-2015-toda-la-informacion-1.html

2018-01-11T21:01:06+00:00

About the Author:

Alice Blumenfeld is a flamenco dancer, choreographer, writer, and educator. She holds a MFA in dance from Hollins University and currently directs Abrepaso Flamenco.

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