How To Accompany Flamenco Dancers – Tips For Flamenco Guitarists

Very last weekend I experienced a great time performing with a group of flamenco guitarists using a sequence of workshops organised by the Peña Flamenca de Londres. They experienced been researching Solea for a few weeks and ended up completely ready to apply their abilities and accompany a dancer for the first time. We took them by means of the principles of the conversations that dancer and guitarist would generally have at the outset – how several letras (verses) how the entrada (entrance opening) would lead into the llamada (phone) for the singer exactly where the escobilla (precise footwork area) would be positioned how to transition into the bulerias and so on. We then went on and all executed solea together – with a very satisfying outcome!
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It built me don’t forget what a minefield it can sense like when you to start with pluck up bravery to take what you have been learning and test to in shape in it with other dancers, guitarists and singers devoid of descending into full chaos. Until you perform jointly for a though and rehearse frequently to a quite distinct plan, you will generally require to be capable to request the correct concerns and choose up the right alerts (individuals of you who know me will know how much I detest about-rehearsed “development flamenco” that follows the identical path every time – but more of that on a independent article… ) and perhaps the next recommendations will support all you rookie guitarists:

DO NOT imagine that all dancers are God-like and know anything. This is a fantasy that we like to stimulate but which is usually untrue. There are some prima donnas close to (and not only dancers – guitarist and singers far too) but most flamenco performers well worth their salt are there to motivate, assistance and aid. We will not chunk your head off!

DO have the braveness to talk to concerns at the outset to fully grasp the shape of the dance (number of letras, rough posture of llamadas and so on. You have the correct to have a basic thought of what is heading to occur in progress. The thought is for all members to function collectively to develop a flamenco effectiveness – it is not a competitors.

DO NOT check with inquiries working with technological words about essential changes, finger positions, modes or other guitar-converse. Most dancers will not understand these types of stuff and may truly feel the need to disguise their typical ignorance beneath a mask of pretended superiority.

DO bear with us if we attempt to reveal what we signify in pretty non-specialized phrases. Number of flamenco techniques have names and so we have to rely on descriptive phrases these types of as “I’ll stick a get in touch with in right after the diddly-diddly-dum stage”. A actual physical demonstration commonly allows so just question us to display you what we indicate.

DO listen and take notice of the palmas marked by the dancer (and singer) at the starting of a dance. This is, in section, there to assistance established the tempo that we want to abide by and, contrary to well-liked belief, not only to make confident the viewers is seeking at us.

DO watch the dancer intently to pick up the indicators that show a llamada or change to a distinctive section. With any luck , these will not occur just at the time you are picking out your new and most intricate falsetta – the just one which calls for your entire and undivided consideration. To get started with these signals may perhaps include things like waving one particular arm in the air a typical wind-milling movement with the skirt, a steely glare at the guitarist and/or a strangled shriek.

With any luck ,, as you get to know every single other far better, a rather extra subtle approach can be adopted. [One of the initial guitarists I labored with once instructed me that he could notify when I was about to simply call a modify just by observing my posterior. Having said that, as I afterwards identified that his head was certainly on points other than llamadas when eyeing my nether regions, may I propose observing the dancer’s feet as a safer wager… ]

DO check out and listen to the dancer to decide on up on adjustments in tempo. These frequently indicate rushing up to achieve towards a crescendo, but can also include a need to drop the speed slowly. Nevertheless… ,

DO NOT get a slight increase in the tempo to point out the starting of a frenzied hurtle towards the ending article. Dancers will usually want to convey up the speed a tiny but then maintain it at that point in buy to in good shape in their favorite piece of intricate choreography before continuing the construct up at a later phase. This is an vital place – all too typically I have encountered guitarists who, supplied a whiff of independence, make it possible for the blood to hurry to their heads and it truly is “chocks absent chaps, and the very last one particular property is a sissy”. We do not like this. We do not like it at all and may possibly properly grow to be all god-like and bite off extra than your head.

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