Shall We Dance / Bailamos

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

OUR FRIEND ISABEL began taking flamenco dance lessons this year and asked me to see her recital Friday night. It was her second recital; we weren’t able to attend the first two months ago. The performance began at 9 and included a variety of classes, a variety of ages, and a variety of dance styles. The music selection was great, although, the first group of kids danced to Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” (as in… “The club isn’t the best place to find a lover. So the bar is where I go…”). Kind of like when an old friend started teaching pre-school in the 1970s and all the toddlers loved to dance to “Push Push In The Bush”; imagine three-year-olds shimmying to: “Are you ready, are you ready for this? Do you like it, do you like it like this?”

Anyway, there was flamenco and more flamenco, modern dance, ballet, and belly dancing. Although the belly dancing was well performed to great music, it’s a genre that has never done a thing for me. I wonder why.

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NUESTRA AMIGA ISABEL comenzó a tomar clases de baile flamenco este año y me pidió que viéra su recital el viernes por la noche. Fue su segundo recital; no pude asistir al primer hace dos meses. La presentación comenzó a las 9 e incluyó una variedad de clases, una variedad de edades, y una variedad de estilos de baile. La selección de música fue genial, aunque el primer grupo de niños bailaban “Shape of You” de Ed Sheeran (como en … “El club no es el mejor lugar para encontrar un amante. Así que el bar es donde voy…”). Algo así como cuando un vieja amiga comenzó a enseñar preescolar en los años 70 y a todos los niños pequeños les encantaba “Push Push In The Bush” (Embiste Embiste En El Arbusto); Imagínate a los niños de tres años que se estremecen: “¿Estás listo, estás preparado para esto? ¿Te gusta, te gusta así?”

De todos modos, hubo flamenco y más flamenco, danza moderna, ballet, danza del vientre y, desafortunadamente, más danza del vientre. Aunque eso se realizó con buena música, es un género que nunca ha hecho nada por mí. Me pregunto porque.

That’s Isabel aglow at center.
Ella es Isabel encendida en el centro.
“When your heart’s on fire…”
“Cuando tu corazon ardan …”
“… you must realize..
“… debes darte cuenta ….
“… Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.” — Jerome Kern and Otto Harbach, 1933
“… El humo entra en tus ojos”. – Jerome Kern y Otto Harbach, 1933
Thank goodness for those fans!
¡Gracias a dios por esos abanicos (pernicones)!
I suppose I just don’t have the stomach for it.
Supongo que no tengo estómago para eso.

Miesencia

La versión espánol está después de la versión inglés.

ADRIÁN, ONE OF the exceptional staff at Mesón Salvador, opened a new business in the center of Fuengirola. Thankfully, he’s not leaving Mesón Salvador. But he and his wife, Sonia, and another partner have opened Miesencia a late-night Flamenco Bar (9 p.m. to 3 a.m.). I went to opening night Friday with our friend Lulu and it was perfect from start to finish. The staff, the complementary food, the drinks, the atmosphere, the crowd, the hosts… oh, and especially the music. Amazing talent. I wish Lulu and I could have lasted until the wee hours. We missed a lot of great music. Still, we danced our ways home around midnight. A completely Andalusian experience. My videos don’t do the music justice, but at least you’ll feel the joy.

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ADRIÁN, UNO DEL excepcional personal de Mesón Salvador, abrió un nuevo negocio en el centro de Fuengirola. Afortunadamente, no se va de Mesón Salvador. Pero él y su esposa, Sonia, y otro socio han abierto Miesencia un Flamenco Bar que abre por la noche (9 p.m. a 3 a.m.). Fui viernes para su primera noche con nuestro amiga Lulu y fue perfecto de principio a fin. El personal, la comida complementaria, las bebidas, el ambiente, la multitud, los anfitriones … ah, y especialmente la música. Talento increíble. Ojalá Lulu y yo pudiéramos haber durado hasta altas horas. Nos perdimos mucha buena música. Aún así, bailamos en nuestro camino a casa alrededor de la medianoche. Una experiencia completamente andaluza. Mi videos no hacen justicia a la música, pero al menos sentirás la alegría.

Flamenco has no cure.
Flamenco shouts what my soul keeps silent.

My Essence is yours.

Feria Del Rosario Fine Finery

After a summer of never being quite sure where I was when I woke up in the morning, I am finally a little less confused.

We’re beginning to settle back into some sort of routine, getting used to the fact that daily emails and weekly Skypes with The Dowager Duchess are no longer a part of it.

One thing that makes it clear we’re back in Spain is the fact that, within two weeks of our return, there’s another fair in town.

This is the Annual Fiesta del Rosario, which commemorates the 1571 victory of a coalition of European Catholic maritime states (mostly financed by the Spanish Empire) in a major naval battle against the Ottoman Empire.

I have a feeling most contemporary celebrants have no idea. It’s just another excuse to get decked out. ride your horse to Fuengirola’s fairgrounds … and dance.

(Lots of photos. No captions. Click to enlarge and imagine your own stories.)

OK, ONE CAPTION: THIS MADE ME THINK OF THE SONG “TRADITION” IN “FIDDLER ON THE ROOF.”
“OF COURSE, THERE WAS THE TIME WHEN HE SOLD HIM A HORSE BUT DELIVERED A MULE.”

Palmeros Vs. Palmeras

I was so caught up in la musica (the music) and Los Mellis yesterday that I completely forgot to include some photos of Teatro Cervantes, built in 1870. It replaced the previous theatre (destroyed by fire), which had been built in the early 1500s to celebrate a royal visit by Queen Isabella II.

Years of neglect, and poor management and planning culminated in Málaga City Council acquiring Teatro Cervantes in 1984, then obtaining public grants to renovate and restore the space. (Don’t forget to click the images.)

CEILING BY BERNARDO FERRÁNDIZ, 1870.
AN ALLEGORY OF THE CITY OF MÁLAGA.
PHOTOS TAKEN PRE-CONCERT.
MY QUICK COMPOSITE TO GIVE YOU A SENSE OF THE INTERIOR.

When I talked about “palmeros” in yesterday’s blog post, I might have confused some of my readers. So, I’ve provided a couple of photos below to clarify the difference between “palmeros” and “palmeras.”

TWO PALMEROS.
(FROM LOS MELLIS’ FACEBOOK PAGE.)
TWO PALMERAS.
EQUALLY DELICIOUS? YOU DECIDE.

Argentina And The Twins

San Geraldo and I went to Teatro Cervantes Friday night to see a performance by Argentina Maria Lopez Tristancho, known simply as Argentina. She’s a brilliant cantaora (flamenco singer). Her voice and delivery are magnificent. Her two guitarists, percussionist, and three “palmeros” — those are the accompanists who clap and perform other percussive effects using their hands — were equally magnificent.

The dialects, the additional (traditional) sounds and non-words added into the lyrics, and all the other variations made it difficult for me to follow more than a small bit of the Spanish. But my favorite performers are the palmeros, who also sang. Some of their skills:

Palmas
— hand clapping; an intricate art requiring skill and knowledge of compas (the measure, and the rhythmic skill of a performer.

Palmas Altas (Palmas Claras, Palmas Agudas)
— percussive effect performed with the fingers of the right hand on the left palm, resulting in a sharp sound


Palmas Sordas (Palmas Graves)
— muted clapping (more often done by Argentina)

During a moment between songs, I commented to San Geraldo, “How do you like the twins?” 

“Which ones?” he asked. 

“Uh… the ones that look exactly alike?”

It turns out the twins are equally famous performers. Like Argentina, the brothers are from the town of Huelva, about an hour west of Sevilla. Their names are Antonio and Manuel Montes Saavedra, but they’re known as Los Mellis. (One of the words for “twin” in Spanish is “mellizo.”)

(Click here if you want to read more about them.)

CAN YOU PICK OUT THE TWINS?

I chose this video to give you an idea of the power and importance of the palmero.