For as much time and money as I have invested into the art of flamenco, I have not invested much into creating a flamenco wardrobe. So I was a little uncertain as to what to wear. But I figured I couldn’t go wrong with lunares, so I wore my big ruffly skirt. Let me tell you – the place where this gig was held was absolutely magnificent. It was the outdoor garden of a local company that makes high-end Christmas decorations. Granted it was hazy, hot and humid, so the prize-winning roses were a little wilted, but it was a spectacular setting.
You might think that it’s no big deal to sit up there with the guitarist and singer and clap along to the music. But it’s really not like that. Here you have a guitarist playing complex falsettas which are nowhere near square to the rhythm, the singer opening her voice and winding the cante around the compas and the dancer working her way up to contratiempo. Sheesh – it’s a good thing they had me there!
All joking aside, it requires concentration. Also, you have to clap loud enough so that all interested parties can hear, but not so loud that it overpowers anyone. At certain times you clap “clara,” crisp and bright – right in the sweet spot of the palms, and while the guitarist and singer are doing their things, it’s back down to “sorda” which provides a muffled, bass undertone to mark the compas. Granted, I’m new at this, but it’s something I take very seriously. To hold the compas is of the utmost importance, for without it – flamenco does not exist. It is also just as important to be there to support the dancer, the guitarist, the singer as they create art. After a few minutes of clapping, my hands start to hurt, my arms start to itch and my arms start to feel like I’ve been doing push-ups. So a quick shake and back into the moment I go. After all, I ‘m there to lend a hand….