Continuing to learn flamenco and to create at home
For several weeks now, although many of us continue to work, our business has been severely slowed down due to the total shutdown of the entertainment and restaurant sectors. As far as the performing arts in general and flamenco sector in particular are concerned, artists (musicians or flamenco dancers) can no longer get on stage. As a result, they face unprecedented economic challenges. For flamenco students, classes are obviously cancelled.
But that doesn’t mean that flamenco artists or flamenco students find themselves out of work or laid off. Indeed, it seems that, for some of them, this context is conducive to a more in-depth study of flamenco and awakens the desire for creation. Here we will specifically mention the case of the flamenco dancer or the flamenco dance student.
How can we continue to dance flamenco at home, with little space and without disturbing our neighbours? And, when it is impossible for us to dance at home, how can we continue to learn, enriching our flamenco culture?
Flamenco dancers can learn via social media
From the beginning of the Lockdown, social networks have played an important role in ensuring a continuity of flamenco life. Indeed, many flamenco dancers have published videos of themselves, confined to their homes, presenting a sequence or “patá”, por bulería, por tangos or other styles in order to make their fans dance at home.
These initiatives to share artistic content for confined flamencos has allowed artists to maintain a certain visibility in a context where they can no longer practice their profession normally (physically). Broadcast free of charge and therefore accessible to all, these contents have also made it possible to bring this art to life within the flamenco community in search of enriching artistic occupations.
Like many artists, the ¡ Ay Castaña ! Company proposed such an initiative by launching the Instagram challenge “pataita por bulería en la cocina” on March 22, 2020. In the form of an explanatory video, the company presented a patá por bulería to learn and then dance in your kitchen (cocina): no need for flamenco shoes or a very large space; sneakers and a one-square-metre kitchen are all you need!
But the Lockdown continues… and while some artists continue to share content on different networks, they are also turning to organizing more formal online courses via Zoom or Skype at fixed times, allowing them to be paid. The ¡ Ay Castaña ! Company will soon offer online courses. Students who wish to do so will be able to receive a personalized and more formal education adapted to the flamenco dancer.
Flamenco dancers can expand their sphere of knowledge in flamenco
But if, as a flamenco dancer, you can’t or don’t want to dance at home, what can you do? This is quite possible and understandable, but don’t panic, even without dancing, a flamenco dancer can continue to enrich his/her knowledge, for example by listening to flamenco singing, watching flamenco dance videos and studying the different palos (styles) of flamenco.
Indeed, learning for a flamenco dancer is largely done by listening and observing. So why not take advantage of this period of lockdown to do it?
To listen to flamenco very easily, Flamenco Radio is a sure bet. This radio will allow you not only to discover recent recordings of current artists but also and above all recordings of older artists that influence today’s artists. Almost no advertising and a systematic presentation of the recordings broadcast (date, artists etc.) make listening very pleasant. Of course, if you are interested in particular artists, and you want to listen/watch these artists, it is very interesting to look directly for videos on Youtube.
The flamenco dancer, in order to cultivate his art and better understand it, must of course listen to singing. However, he/she can also delve further in the study and dissect each family of palos and each palo. For this, the flamencópolis page is extremely well documented. It will allow you to know the history of each palo and the different styles of letras of each of these palos. We invite you to check it out here.
Flamenco dancers are isolated but free to continue learning
Freeing up time for some of us, the current circumstances have helped to arouse our curiosity, to boost the desire to go beyond the dancer’s sphere, to trigger the will to create or investigate this art. The learning process is endless. Many digital solutions are available to continue to live flamenco every day of lockdown … Viva el arte y viva el flamenco!
Photo illustrating the article by Alia Photography
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