I like Thursdays because I get to do tarantos. This session is the first time I’ve experienced it and I have to say I like it a lot. I wasn’t sure about it at first because it’s a hard rhythm to hear, but now that I’ve become better acquainted with it and have had a chance to dance to it a bit, I’m totally feeling it.
But let’s back up for a sec. Tonight was a bit manic-depressive, in the best possible way. In the first class, our technique class, we continued working on an alegrías footwork we started last week. Very challenging stuff. I was more focused on getting the steps and corresponding arm placements than bringing the festive attitude the dance requires. Also, it’s just harder to look like you’re having fun when you’re unsure of your next move.
In the second hour, we moved on to tarantos. It’s not a lighthearted dance. It’s a one of those dig-deep-and-find-your-pain-and-show-it-to-the-world dances. I’m not sure what it says about me, but I really love those. I mean, I haven’t met a palo I didn’t like, but I’m especially drawn to the angry/painful/sorrowful ones. I guess we’re all moved by different things. I imagine that some people come alive when they hear a happy tune. I do too, of course, but not the way I do when I hear a downer. There’s something about hearing something very sad or intense that grabs me by the throat and stops my breath … especially in flamenco. The wailing … oh, the wailing. That powerful yet languishing voice that pierces the ears and shocks the heart. It always startles me and quiets me for a moment. How can I not feel it?
In this dance, you’ve really got to feel it because sometimes it’s just too hard to count it. You have to be present in the music, instead of in your own head, counting, in order to do it justice. This is what we learned tonight. And when Rina reminded us to dig deep and find our angst and bring it, well, we brought it.