Posting daily in April for the A-Z Blogging Challenge. Today is F. My theme is Flamenco
F is for Flamenco
"A Way of Life", is a book about Flamenco, written by Don Pohren in 1962.
Don and his wife, Luisa, lived in Spain but made frequent trips as guest artists, to the studio I attended in Minneapolis. Don taught Flamenco guitar and Luisa gave dance workshops. This was like bringing the source to US non-Spanish-speaking Flamenco students. They were Americans who understood the true life of the Flamencos. Don's book, "A Way of Life," is still considered to be the most complete authority ever written about Flamenco people.
For me, those were the days of performances and practice, practice, practice. It was also the days of sore muscles, stretched hamstrings and often very little sleep. Americans have to work hard at learning what comes naturally to the Gypsies. We are the interlopers, trying to learn their way of life.
There is an interwoven connection between Classical Spanish and pure Flamenco. We were fortunate to have a classical Spanish teacher who was married to an American and living in Minneapolis. She taught strict Spanish ethics with hours of ballet, in addition to strenuous footwork. Our lives were gradually reshaped into Flamencos.
Now, sixty years later, I still have my most joyful moments when I go in my studio all by myself, put on some Flamenco music, my shoes and dance until my heart is full. I will repeat this over and over, "When Flamenco enters your soul, it never leaves.