by Jan Lefrancois-Gijzen
Red dresses, beautiful women, and a scene in Mission: Impossible 2.
That’s about as much I knew about Flamenco dancing when I found out we were partnering up with Caló Dance Studio for our Friday show this week.
So, I did a little research on Flamenco to provide you guys (and myself) with some fun facts; go to the jump for more!
- Flamenco = Flamingo Flamenco translates to flamingo – so if you thought it was “Flamingo Dancing” you were kind of right! Flamingos are native to several areas where the Romani ethnic group historically traveled in Spain. In turn, at the heart of Romani culture is Flamenco dancing. See the connection?
- What is… Flamenco? There are many ways to express the Flamenco spirit, often combining to form a SUPER FLAMENCO ROBOT… metaphorically. You have the toque, which is guitar-based; the cante, which is vocal; the palmas, or handclapping; and finally the baile, the dance!
- Training Flamenco performers historically learned the art from a young age via apprenticeship. Thanks to the modern marvel of globalization, you don’t have to be Spanish to learn – it’s a worldwide art form studied in dance studios and conservatories. In fact, Japan is home to more Flamenco studios than Spain itself! Atlanta’s Caló Dance Studio has training classes if you’re interested – they even allow walk-ins if you’re just curious! (I’ll be there staring with my mouth hanging open)
- Improv Though most Flamenco has specific choreography, lyrics and rhythm, in live performance it is not uncommon for performers to slightly alter each presentation! What remains consistent is the structure of each piece: everybody knows how the performance must begin and end. In between the start and stop, the artists have the ability to reinvent every show (this is the only part I understood immediately)
From the moment Caló takes the stage we’ll be playing our pants off to keep up! We’re starting 8:00 PM – the Relapse bar stocked for awesome Sangria-inspired drink specials.
Until then, keep those skirts flowing and your hearts racing!