The more and more I do in Spain, the harder it seems to become to write about it all....So here's a little bit of what I've been up to:
|Look at all that beautiful ham and cheese!|
Christmas Eve Dinner (Nochebuena):
|I went to my friend's house and ate |
and sang and danced until about 4am. :D
Christmas Day I headed to Carlos Heredia's house for some more dancing and singing and eating.
|Nothing better than a fire and some flamenco!|
I headed to Madrid a couple weeks ago to put together a piece with fellow Fulbrighter and tap dancer Alexander MacDonald that will be performed in Germany at the Fulbright Seminar there. I don't want to post the video so as not to spoil anything ;) ...but I'm pretty happy with what we put together, it's an interesting dialogue between flamenco and tap.
|Here we are after rehearsal in Madrid.|
My new year's resolution has been to travel more around Andalucía. Last weekend I went to Carmona, which is just outside Sevilla, and is one of the oldest urban sites in Europe.
|A Phoenician vase.|
|A picture of the menu of various sweets you can |
order from the Convent of Santa Clara, which is
particularly famous for its yemas--sweets made with egg yolks.
|A photo of the Roman necropolis in Carmona. So cool!|
My impatience and Sevici:
Sevici is a bike system that I use to get around in Sevilla. Basically, you buy a year long pass for about 30 euros, and you can take out a bike from any Sevici station around the city, and as long as you return it within half an hour it's free. After that I think it's about a euro an hour. A few weeks ago, I go to take out a bike, and the screen says I have a debt of fifty something euros! I couldn't believe this--I *almost* always make sure the bike is parked well (it beeps twice if it is after you return it).
For several days, I called, Sevici, I went to the Sevici office, I sent email requests to Sevici, and they said a technician would go to the station I returned the bike to and see if it was my error or their error. And they said that would take one day. Yeah, well, after about a week and a half with no bike and no response, I decided I would pay the stupid debt, because I really need a bike. Well, of course a few hours after I decided to do that, I get an email saying that the debt was an error of Sevici's and they removed the debt. So then I had a useless 50 euro credit on my account. Argh! I simply don't have patience like the Spaniards, but I'm getting better.....Anyways, lucky for me Sevici took the 50 euro credit off and transferred the money to my bank account....but really, I need a little more patience to live here.
And last but not least, what I've been doing with most of my time:
I've been reading this book. But not just reading it. I'm looking up everything in it I don't know, every name that is mentioned and not explained. I listen to every singer and song that is mentioned (hooray for Spotify!) This is a book that I have been meaning to read for a long time, and I think I just wasn't quite ready to read it. The author, Ángel Álvarez Caballero, assumes the reader already knows a significant amount about the cante, and I am finally to the point where I know enough to really delve into this book which is a dense history of flamenco singing. The history of the cante is so essential to understanding flamenco; everything comes from the cante. I think that as a flamenco, it's essential that I have a deep understanding of the singing, since that is the base for the dancing.
And I've been listening. Repetition seems to be the key to everything. Listening to a song once just doesn't cut it. I listen over and over to whatever song I happen to be studying. It's the same in dancing--it's only once you've repeated something over and over with consciousness and awareness that you are able to understand and learn. And I have a LOT to learn about flamenco. The more I learn, the more I realize I lack, which inspires me to study even more. Flamenco is so profound, full of so many corners to discover and decode!