Ole! Que vive el flamenco!
Happy International El Flamenco Day
Walleeeeeeeeey, Fire of Damascus!
That’s where the Oleee used in El Flamenco comes from. It comes from Arabic. Enrooted in the heart of Andalucia. Born on the streets of Sevilla and Granada. Though the origins of the dance are mostly attributed to the Romani people of Spain, the root of “Ole!” is walleeyyy. No doubt about it! 😀
Dances of the Gypsies and Moors intertwine. I can hear their heartbeats. Can you hear mine? It gives the pulses of the choreography. I lift up my arms to open them widely and to release the el flamenco mysteries. And then, rapidly embrace them tight and lift up my arms again. Turn by turn, I go on with the grandeur it conveys. Love and tenderness. Uncurbed passion… The power of Life stemming in the heart.
El flamenco has been declared one of the Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity on the 16th of November 2010.
On the same date, one year later, the Junta de Andalucia had it established as the International Day of Flamenco. So to all the el flamenco lovers out there, I say: “Ole! Que tomen! Y que disfruten el flamenco. Enjoy it to the fullest. Que vive el flamenco!”
One year prior to that, in 2009, I hit the first golpe of my flamenco shoe in Istanbul – the City of Straights.
As a newly wed, I had plenty of time to dedicate to myself. So given I had all the time in the world, except for my job and my social life, I thought I should take up one more hobby, beside going to the gym.
And that moment, I felt it right over here. The fire of the mother source. It just sprang from inside. A strong wish wanting to manifest. Back then, I had no idea where it came from. I am the first female in the entire family tree on both sides, Damascene and Romanian to pursue el flamenco. Feel it. Live it. And most of all, Love it. Moreover, I discovered my passion stemmed from the love for horses and public debate, which debuted in the historic neighbourhood of Al Midan.
My personal guess on that is, since it stems in the Heart, it is definitely the Heritage of Humanity. What is Love if not humanity, caring for one another?
A glossary of complex movements, a menu of gestures aligned in their complexity to manifest love and passion. You abide to the prophecy shining through. The energy of the heart stemming from the roots of one’s being sends trajectories of Light, for the dancer to direct and express the free spirit of True Love, Heritage and Life Stories. The dancer flips their fingers one by one, rhythmically and fast, outward and inward. Coordinates the fast pace of their legs, with posture and arms uplift. Pirouetting a perfect passionate alignment of moves. Setting the groove for the spectator before the reddish citadel of Alhambra. The letra of the music goes on as we indulge the polka-dotted, colorful and different styles of tangos, bulerias interrupted by a solea and ending up with the alegria. Ole!
Who knows? In a past lifetime, I might have lived in the Caliphate of Cordoba.
A beautiful cross-cultural dance, just like my beautiful Damascus – mi querida, la ciudad de mi alma has been the commercial and cultural hub, hosting much more than complex choreographies. Civilizations dating back to thousands and thousands of years have grown in her fertile womb.
“Tu es une femme extraordinaire. Il te faut un homme extraordinaire. I see you only beside an extraordinary man”, said the Beautiful, one of my best lady friends.
“Maybe … as long as there’s something deep about it.
There must be strokes of f e e l i n g.
Right over there, where el flamenco is borne. In the heart.”
Oleee to that!
I’ll throw up my damasco shawl in the air and catch it in the groove. Pirouette my way through …
El flamenco is the dance of Life, where intersections intertwine. The alchemy played by the magician. The stream comes about and annihilates grief and sorrow. Instead, it generates butterflies of bliss. El flamenco is the prayer borne within the deepest chambers of one’s being. And strokes of Life and of joie de vivre are rendered just like that… through m a g i c
Photo Credit: Unsplash