August 14, 2004

Flamenco Lesson

Another vignette from the other night...

We were in Bar Tahiti, the place was crowded, the dance floor and the tables, everywhere people. And they were all grooving on the singer who was spanking his guitar. Well, they all spank their guitars here. One singer thinks he's all that, singing with a a knowing wink... he bugged me. This guy would stop in mid song, expecting the crowd to continue singing as he lights his cigarette. The next one was more direct and workmanlike, more to my liking. Just sing the song cantadero.

What was funny is that not only do the people know the lyrics and not only do they sing along but sometimes they will sing back up, the doo-wop parts. On top of this, they are dancing up a storm, Flamenco stylin'. And our new acquaintence, the young lad and born again Catalan, Marc was on the floor. He orbitted (shimmy shimmy) to where we were parked in the club and offered us a quick lesson on how to dance Flamenco style:

"You must enact the taking of an apple from a tree..."

Reaching dramatically for an apple above one's head, Marc plucks the virtual apple from the bough. I'm a sucker for visualizations and I see the leaves rustling and the branch snapping up and down.

"Then you must eat the apple!"

Marc takes a theatrical bite, a lusty smile, one imagines a huge chunk is chomped maybe the juice is running down your neck, the chunk maybe is too big in your mouth you lusty thing you.

All of this is instructed to us, while Marc's lower body is rotating around a different axis, his hips are countering the swing of his shoulders, the feet are happy feet tippy tippy tappy all over the place.

The hands rotate in circles, scribing arcs pivoting from the wrist, circle forward wrist down circle forward palms up and the fingers positioned like the hands of sculptured saints in ecstacy, a ballet drama, a whole act invovlving the five fingers each having attitude in controposto to each other. Invisible castenets. It's a good thing they aren't barefoot, I can't imagine the toes doing the same thing.

"Then you must throw the apple to the ground!"

A Flamenco move, a theatrical motion mixing pleasure with disgust as if the apple is a lover who has betrayed you or you are wontonly casting away a true love. Oh, the humanity of it all!

"And you must step on it!"

Marc's foot was smashing down virtually crushing the imaginary apple. Then he points to the hips as they arc from side to side, a life of their own and that life lived separate from the happy feet as he tappy tappy tippy tappies off into the crowd body rubbing virtual sex all over the place.

That, my friends is how you dance Flamenco.

Kiko's wife Teresa tells us that this interpretation is from Seville. Evidently, there are many others.

Posted by Dennis at August 14, 2004 2:33 AM

Leave a comment