How accompany flamenco dancers – Tips for flamenco guitarists

Paco Pena and the flamenco dance company.

Last week I had a great time working with a group of flamenco guitarists take a series of workshops organized by the Peña Flamenca London. Solea had studied for a few weeks and were ready to apply their knowledge and support a dancer first. We take you through the basics of the discussions that normally dancer and guitarist at the beginning – how letters (verses) how (shared entrance opening) of lead in entrada Call (call) for the singer, where (brush section specific footwork) is placed, how to transition to bulerías and so on. Then we went and did solea all together – with a very good result!

I remembered what a minefield it can feel like when you start the courage to take what you’ve learned and try to integrate with other dancers, guitarists and singers without falling into complete chaos. Unless you work together for a while and repeat regularly to a very specific routine, you still have to be able to ask the right questions and make the right signals (those of you who know me know how much I hate more broken in ” Flemish training “following the same path each time – but more on that in a separate post ……) and perhaps the following tips will help all beginner guitarists:

Not imagine that all the dancers are like God and know everything. It is a myth that we like to cheer, but it’s usually bad. There are some divas of all (and not just the dancers – guitarist and singer too), but most flamenco performers that claims are there to encourage, support and help. We will not bite your head off!

NOT have the courage to ask questions at the beginning to understand how to dance (number of letters, the approximate position of calls, etc.. You have the right to have a general idea of ​​what will happen to advance the idea is that everyone work together to create a flamenco -. ‘s not a competition.

Do not ask questions using technical words on the main changes, the position of the fingers, or other modes of guitar speak. Most dancers do not understand these things and may feel the need to hide their ignorance behind a mask of pretended superiority.

Do not be with us in trying to explain what we mean by non-technical terms themselves. Flamenco Steps have names so they must rely on descriptive phrases such as “I will take a call after the step diddly-diddly-dum.” Usually allows a physical manifestation so just ask us to show what we mean.

DO listen and take note of the palms marked by the dancer (and singer) at the beginning of a dance. This is, in part, helps to set the tempo we want to continue and, contrary to popular opinion, not only to ensure that the public is watching.

Beware the dancer close to capture the signals that indicate a change in call or a different style. Hopefully there will come only when you collect your new Falsetta more complicated – it requires your full attention. For starters, these signals may include waving his arms in the air, a general movement of windmill with a guitarist skirt acute and / or a gasp gaze.

Hopefully you get to know each other better, something more subtle approach can be adopted. [One of the first guitarists I worked with told me he could not say he was about to call a change of just looking at my ass. However, as I learned later that his mind was on other things certainly calls while watching my hell, then I recommend you look at the feet of the dancer as a safer bet …]

DO watch and listen to the dancer to pick up the tempo changes. These usually indicate to accelerate to a crescendo, but may also include the desire to leave the speed gradually. However ……,

Do not take a slight increase in the rate to indicate the start of a frenetic hurtle towards the finish line. Dancers often want to bring up the speed a little, but then keep time to suit your favorite piece of complicated choreography before continuing accumulation at a later stage. This is an important point – very often I found guitarists, gave a breath of freedom, allowing blood to rush to his head and he’s “chocks away cracks, and the last house is a wet chicken.” We do not like that. We do not like at all and could become like God, and bigger than the eye of the head.

Feel free to make suggestions. If flourishes favorite you want to use, put them in. Contrary to what some think, good dancers also listen to music and work with a wonderful guitarist inspired. What is at stake dancer encourage use measures and shapes that complement the music, and that’s what real life is all about flamenco. However, the use of this freedom to make suggestions with caution. Knowing your dancer very well before you even think to be less enthusiastic about the costume choice. We must know that we are wonderful at any time.

Do not wait until the dance is exactly the same every time. Aside from the times when you are working with a group using accurate and precise choreography, things change – not always the same number of holidays between the end of the letter and the Call instance. As I said before, I firmly believe that the real flamenco is a moveable feast that grows and changes every time depending on the artist and the mood. It keeps you on your toes, but is all the better for it.

Are they willing to act as a diplomat and statesman when also a singer in question. Now they are really gods! Do not ask me how you manage to balance their own needs and those of song and dance – he guitarists are amazing when done right.

I love you! The feeling that comes from being part of the creation of a piece of Flemish life was special this time, just can not be beat.

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