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Thursday, April 7, 2011

F is for Flamenco



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.

76 comments:

  1. "When Flamenco enters your soul, it never leaves." So lyrical, Manzi. I'm enjoying this virtual adventure with flamenco. Gracias.

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  2. Hey! Love that cover art on the book - and love the philosophy!! Do you believe ANYONE can be a dancer? Or do you have to have some natural talent there to start with??

    I ask because while I could eat for Australia, the best thing you could say about my dancing is ... well, there ISN'T anything good!!!

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  3. It's good to have a passion in life and your passion for flamenco is almost contagious. In a good way. I need to get more dancing back into my life, of any nature.

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  4. It is true, your passion comes through your words. That you have kept up with it explains your svelte figure. Any dancing is great exercise, I can only imagine flamenco to double that.

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  5. I can believe that last line. Flamenco is just so elegant, powerful. It seems to me to be controlled energy, something wound tightly and let loose in short, deliberate and calculated bursts.

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  6. Wonderful. I really feel I'm getting to barely scratch the surface of Flamenco and dance in general but scratch that surface I do, thanks to your fabulous posts!!!

    Take care
    x

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  7. i love the way you write about this dance. truly touches all of us.

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  8. Again, another fantastic post that has allowed me a glimpse into your life and passion for dance.
    Thanks, my friend, for this daily pleasure.
    Shawn

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  9. The main thing is to dance with love in your heart. Always dance with love.

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  10. I've never heard of this referred to as a way of life before. I think I'll find that book in the library. Thanks for sharing.
    Nancy
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

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  11. This post touched my heart and I wondered if I had ever had a passion like this.--Inger

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  12. I have two young friends who take flamenco and it is such a beautiful artform. You should post a pic of you doing flamenco.
    Karen

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  13. Su-sieee: What's next for you? You finished with your Z today.
    Red: As being a dance teacher for many years, I find the thing in their way is their ego. They are so afraid of making a mistake.
    Teresa: If I lost my passion, I'd have nothing.
    Patti: I've found, if you have a passion, it only becomes stronger as years go by.
    Bish: Would you believe it more if I said, "The yearning for Flamenco never leaves?"
    Old Kitty: Thanks for following the Flamenco posts.
    Texwisgirl:It's so nice to have you as a supporter.
    Shawn: And I thank you for the support.
    Gigi: Dancing has taken me through some rough times in my life but I never noticed them.
    Nancy: It's the way of the Gypsies' life. The book should be in the library as it was in print again. Thanks for the comment.
    Inger: If you have a passion about a very passionate subject, your passion becomes even "more passionate." For me it did.

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  14. What a lovely post! Have never taken this up, but have felt the urge to a time or two. should really give it a go.

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  15. Thank you for sharing your passion. Your love for flamenco really comes through on your posts.

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  16. Your article on Flamenco was very poignant. My spouse the education tipster is a dancer.
    Thank You for visiting gritsandgroceriesless.. Good luck and God b

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  17. For years I avoided going to see this type of dance. It struck me as quite odd that anyone would enjoy watching pink birds dance. I mean, don't they stand on one leg? Then, I learned it wasn't flamINGO dancing.
    Groan...I can't be sure, but I gotta think this is an old joke.

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  18. Manzi, your soul comes through in your posts, especially this one. I can feel it, hear the music you hear in your words. You are a strong person with such a deep sensitivity you inspire and motivate us...even if we don't have the castanets, your energy invigorates!

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  19. Flamenco is so elegant and precise. It is absolutely lovely.

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  20. Karen: It's so encouraging to see young girls dance and stay with it. Very healthy for body and spirit.
    They call me Varmit: Yes, by all means, do.
    Fishducky: Thank you for the comment.
    Anthony: Good dancing to your and your spouse.
    Al: We only put tutu's on the birds on Friday nights. :)
    Kittie: Thank you for your especially kind words.
    Holy Ruggiero: Thank you. It is nice to meet you.

    It's a pleasure to read all your eomments. Thanks heaps. Manzanita

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  21. Manzi: I would love to have a poster of that book cover!

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  22. I'm not a dancer, but there is definitely some music that makes my feet want to dance :)

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  23. I love watching flamenco dancers! It is an amazing blend of technique, attitude, and strength. Thanks for the book recommendation, too!

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  24. what a wonderful post, and i love your name! 'Manzanita' in my part of the world (Philippines) is the name of a tree which bears cute and slightly tangy berries rich in vitamin c. :)

    thank you so much for following and checking out my 'F' post. following you back :)

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  25. Oh, it makes my heart sing to think you so practice this.

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  26. It is wonderful to learn that you still dance. The music is breathtaking, as is the dance.

    Glad you are still able to enjoy it.

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