A Long Summer


On reflection it is probably not a surprise that people think I have stopped writing a blog, since the last post I wrote was at the end of May 2017 and now it is just turning into September. I had forgotten it was so long since I last wrote and yes many things have been happening – both foodwise and flamenco. At the end of May I must have been frantically busy preparing for two end of term shows – one in the Teatro Villamarta and the other in the Sala Companía. The latter was tough because I honestly thought I didn’t know one of the dances well enough, having missed quite a few of the weekends that Maria del Mar Moreno taught back here in Jerez. A couple just before Christmas when I went home to the UK for my mother’s funeral. Maria  spends a great deal of her time running workshops with loyal pupils in Milan, Paris and Bordeaux. So in May I was doing practise and rehearsals nearly everyday. I am immensely proud of a) dancing on the big stage of the Teatro Villamarta. and b) remembering the complex Soléa and Solea por Bulerias dances that we had learned during the year in Escuela Flamenco Puro. Dancing in the Teatro Villamarta was literally awe inspiring. In fact the 5 of us just froze at the dress rehearsal. The lack of full lighting means that you can see the size of the auditorium and the stage and realise just how big it is! We were dancing a version of Manuel Liñan’s Tangos a Titi. I have to say it was huge fun and we managed to bring the house down with our performance by ‘filling’ that big stage. I learned a huge amount about performance in this year’s shows, and wearing our wonderful dresses felt fantastic and we looked great. Unfortunately I was one of the few dancing in both the Soléa and the Solea por Bulerias so there isn’t a photograph of me in the wonderful purple costume that we wore, but below you can see us in our lovely azul y lunares dresses for the solea por bulerias.

The performance with my Flamenco Puro intermediate groups was much more nerve racking though. The stage at the Sala Companía is narrow and deep. Since I was dancing in the 2nd and 3rd row I was nearer the musicians than the audience and therefore our teachers, Irène and Maria del Mar Moreno who could see everything. I reckon I did OK though. I still have to work on technique and getting my footwork fast and clear and my arms strong and much more flamenca than danza estilazada and baroque.

The one thing that I did achieve this year was a performance of bulerias on my own at the fin de fiesta. After a year of learning it was only a simple bulerias. However I have performance anxiety when I perform anything solo. To do this at the big fin de curso show was a big big thing for me. I am actually immensely proud of myself. I loved the groups we were dancing in as well. These people have become very good friends now. We have survived through thick and thin – poor footwork, bewilderment, criticism, changes of choreography, and a lot of hard work.




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