Friday, August 2, 2013

La ética de la danza

"La gran suerte del ser humano es encontrarse con buenos maestros...
me inculcó desde el principio lo que es la ética de la danza antes de la estética." 
--Antonio Gades

("The best luck a human being can have is finding good teachers...from the beginning I was instilled with what are the ethics of dance before the aesthetic." --Antonio Gades)

Candid photo from Manuela Rios' class.  

I've been incredibly lucky in my life with my dance teachers (and academic teachers) from my first ballet classes with Karen Alwin who was strict as can be and full of tough love to my teachers this year who have taught me more than I could have imagined about flamenco.  I went to my last class with Manuela Rios today; it never ceases to amaze me how much I learn in one class with her.

I've been lucky enough to find myself with teachers who give all their knowledge without holding anything back, who teach with love, and want to see their students grow to their fullest capacities.  I'm looking forward to seeing my teachers and mentors back in the states and I will miss the incredible teachers I've had here this year.

Eating cake and talking about flamenco one day after class :)

In general, I will miss being surrounded by flamenco and flamencos, there's really no substitute for that.  Although the music, videos, and books are all more accessible than they used to be thanks to Spotify and youtube, it's the conversations and experiences that really helped me grow.  For example, the quote at the beginning of this post is from a video Manuela let me borrow last week; she happened to have the video with her and thought I would like it; then we talked about it the next week once I'd watched it.  Often someone will mention a song so and so sings, and I go home, look it up, and study it.  It's going to be hard to keep studying the cante and history without the sort of informal discussions about flamenco that happen on a daily basis.  

Ironically, I am looking forward to being surrounded by other forms of art.  Museums, jazz music, blues, modern dance, performance art, theater, etc., abound like nowhere else in New York, and I plan on taking full advantage of that, budget permitting.

Greek and Roman Wing at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC

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