Friday, June 17, 2011

Flamenco Feeeeever... OLE!

It was raining almost all week last week but on the day of our flamenco recital, the heavens decided to bless us with sunshine and a waft of cool afternoon breeze.  Like always, the Patroness of flamenco dance, the lovable Tereret Liboro, offered her studio for our daily practices and her Venetian patio as the venue of the recital. There were at most, a hundred flamenco enthusiasts gathered in the Liboro Venetian patio. Guests who graced and patronized the show mingled with US, the bailaores (flamenco dancers) who at long last can show off our dance numbers after months of classes and hectic practices.  

For those not familiar with flamenco, then definitions are in order. Flamenco is a style of dance that is considered part of the culture of Spain although it is native to only one region-Andalusia.  Along with the Andalusian origins, Gypsy, Byzantine, Sephardic and Moorish elements have always been cited as influenced in the development of flamenco.  The dance is a highly expressive dance form. It was originally a solo dance but has now evolved into group dances.  Flamenco is characterized by hand clapping, rhythmic feet stomping and intricate hand, arm and body movements. Dancers must follow a strict framework of rhythmic patterns. Guitarists provide the music for flamenco accompanied by a singer. 

Teachers Cecile de Joya, Maritzi Aquino and Emma Estrada, erstwhile founder of Centro Flamenco, conceptualized this recital.  Students of the 3 teachers, (of all ages-ranging from 6 to ...young junior citizens) delighted the audience with everything that they have learned from the 3 teachers.  The 3 teachers also showed off their dance prowess by dancing with the group except for Teacher  Emma who gave a powerful Solea number.  Solea (solitude) expresses the pathos of love, life and death.  Inspite of the forceful zapateados, ( a rhythmic combination of sounds made by stepping with the toe, sole and heel of the foot) and pateos (hard stepping movements) her dance showed a femininity factor as she showed graceful hand and arm movements, undulating hips and swerving waistlines. The expressions of her face varied with the different emotions that she exuded. 

Maritzi and Cecile, the mother and daughter tandem on the other hand, did an excellent job with their respective team of students, dancing to their choreography of rhumbas, tangos, alegrias, and bulerias.  Maritzi also danced  a flamenco tangos number with me, Tereret, Vida Reyes, and  Dra. Baby Manlapit.  I must thank her for patiently giving me extra time to learn the dance 3 weeks before the recital. She danced 4 other numbers (rumba, bulerias, alegrias, martinete )with Teacher Emma and her core group, (Belen Co, Nina Prats, and Nina Glorioso) which she is a part of.  Sevillanas, the classical Spanish dance usually danced during town fiestas, was performed by every student of all levels of class. In my humble  opinion, Sevillanas  is like a rite of passage for bailaores. (flamenco dancers). Unless you know how to dance the Sevillanas, even only one copla (there are four disitinct parts called coplas to learn), then you cannot call yourself a flamenco dancer.  Our two male dancers, Jorge Amparado and Russel Wisden were the pride of the teachers. Jorge danced a Matador dance (showing off his expertise with a matador's cape) and was the male solist in a modern Bulerias number with Donna and Yukari.  Russell did a solo dance of the third copla of the Sevillanas and the forst copla with his sister Rose Vera Wisden. 

Congratulations  to all the recitalists who contributed to make the event a howling success!! The young bailaores, Riru Akado, Ysobelle Garceau, Sofia and Gabrielle Estrada, Aidan Ballesteros, showed a lot of promise to be great flamenco dancers in a few years.  Other dancers included (Basic 1 Class) Maria Crowley, Grace Sanez, Donna de Padua, Toko Akada, (Basic 2 Class) Kako, Kazu, Yukari Iai, Tereret Liboro, Donna Mascarinas, Rose Alcarez, Alice Cua, Karla Javier, Karen Young, Rose Vera Wisden. 

We are all looking forward to our next recital! It was a learning experience and lots of FUN! The hours of practice released my endorphins and serotonin (happy hormones) which kept me singing and humming all day long. 

Flamenco enthusiasts Erly Gamboa and Madame Marie Gouvary came early to choose their prime seats.
Pr lady Babes Dimalanta and award winning film producer of"Insiang" Ruby Tiong Tan

Three generations of "Flamenco Bailaores" Sylvia Jamora, daughter Therese J. Garceau and grand daughter Ysobelle J. Garceau

Young talent Aidan Ballesteros wowed the crowd with his tap/flamenco number

Sevillana dancers choreographed by teacher Cecile de Joya (in the left front side) gave a fiesta kind of feeling to the recital

Hey, that's me, dancing the 3rd copla of the sevillanas with
partner Tereret Liboro

Flamenco is in the blood- Wisden siblings Rose Vera and Russel, charmed the audience with their dance number

Cape dancer Jorge Amparado did an impressive solo

Russel Wisden plays the bongo while the ladies headed by Tereret L. do the manos for the entry of the dancers

Come rhumba with me!

More Rhumba-Tereret and Donna join in

Teacher Maritzi Aquino leads our Tango number.

Flamenco's future bailaores! 

Lovely Senoritas!


A happy bunch of flamenco bailaores relax after the show!


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