Why I love flamenco

After years of admiring from afar, I have chosen to recently take up flamenco. I await tonight for my third flamenco class. There is still so much to learn, but I am fascinated with this dance. It happens to originate from the Andalucia region in Spain (which is my favourite region in my favourite country). There is complexity in this dance, which seems to combine the outward components of tap dance, with sways of bellydance, and the attitude of a hip hop diva. Perhaps I am drawn to this dance due to deep genealogical roots, of family originating from Spain. Flamenco seems to call out to me. Whose heart doesn’t it call out to?

When the music that accompanies the dance is live, excitement heightens. The singers, guitarists, and percussionists join forces enticing the dancers to express themselves.

Generally the background beats are fast paced. But the music has a extreme sadness to it, a calling out for us to harness our pain. The guitar and melodic voices act as a trigger for us to recall our love stories that don’t have a happy ending. It’s as if the singer is a snake charmer luring the dancer to come out and enchant us with their movements.

Passionate melancholy prevails.

The flamenco dancer expresses his or her fury to their romantic mishap. The memory is alive and it’s pulling at their hearts, but these Spanish dancers don’t wallow into a fetal position. Their bodies expand with confidence. They demand our attention. How beautiful it is to witness beings that embrace the wonder and pain love wholeheartedly offers us.

For a moment it is as if the Hindu god Shiva Nataraja has taken human form.

It is said that although Shiva is among fire and chaos, he finds bliss. He is king of the dance . You can be centered and joyful within change and perceived pain.

Flamenco serves as a celebration of life. Dancers embrace their sadness , love that has gone wrong or is unrequited . Not only did they survive this, but they prevail stronger, with more confidence than before. It’s as if each heartache brings more stories to dance to, more strength , and somehow more passion and love.

Olé

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