Learning flamenco in Spain can feel like an ‘easier’ process sometimes, especially when our classes are accompanied by flamenco singers and guitarists. Afterall, in the land of flamenco, there is much available talent. The holistic approach enables us to ‘fast-track’ what we absorb and practise.
It’s a different story outside Spain. Most of the teachers and students I meet in the cities Manuel and I tour to, raise the challenge of the lack of guitarists and singers to accompany their learning. So a typical process in the early stages, has been to make do with what resources there are, using recordings instead. Students would work on a choreography to a set piece of music. It was better to have some reference than none at all.
It is this challenge in mind that we have a Flamenco Labo (Flamenco Lab) workshop in the Singapore workshops this year. Where students can learn a few basic aspects.
Glimpse of Exhilarating Experiences Awaiting You
Here’s a peek into our recent experience with Sydney students in our June 2019 workshop. Accompanied by guitarist, Paco Lara and Zoe Vélez. Plus a round-up of ‘labs’ in Hong Kong and Adelaide. SINGAPORE, you’re next!
What can you learn at the Flamenco Lab
1. Possibilities of Flamenco Song, How to Listen
The possibilities of how a singer may sing, how to listen, what to listen for. Aafterall, if nobody taught how to listen, one would not know what to watch out for.
At the Flamenco Lab, we’ll be listening to a few possibilities and familiarising ourselves with it. The palo (style) we’re using is the 4-beat Tangos.
2. Guided Demonstrations
As it is in Spain, here in Singapore, we’ll have the privilege of an experienced maestro providing us with demonstrations, guiding our viewing and providing explanations. Our chance to learn by observing. Useful to see the differences from one demo to another.
3. How to Adapt Your Dance
So you’ve learnt a choreography and this may have to been to a set piece of music with its number of bars. Or you’re dancing in a group, and everyone therefore has to dance the same piece as it’s also about teamwork.
At the Flamenco Lab, we’ll be using the base Tangos choreography of Wed 3 July to Sat 6 July. We’ll be experimenting with adapting it and creating your variation, in response to the song possibilities.
It would be helpful for those considering the workshop to do the Tangos course and its accompanying technique course:
- Upper Beginner from Wed 3 July to Sat 6 July
If you are an Intermediate or Advanced student, you can look at doing the last 2 days of Tangos to get you up to speed:
- Sat 6 July: Tangos (1pm) + Tangos Tech (2pm)
- Sun 7 July: Tangos (11am) right before the Flamenco Lab (12pm-1.30pm)!
4. Practise, Practise, Practise!
Yes, gaining as much practise as you can. Get the exposure, insight and understanding. Reinforce and internalise your understanding with practise. You will be guided under the watchful eyes of Manuel and be given personal feedback. Useful for any dancer who wants to learn and improve.
It is not often that a guitarist and singer accompanies you in a workshop outside Spain.
Also, even in Spain, you don’t always have classes fully devoted to a Flamenco lab approach, for experimenting.
So take advantage of this!
Both Tangos & Tientos are accompanied from 2nd day onwards 4 July, all up to the final day of Flamenco Lab, 7 July.
SCHEDULE AND WORKSHOP INFO
Full Info in this story: Reach for the Gold with the Olympics Coach of Flamenco
Extract of Schedule below
Says guitarist Paco:
Thank you Chachy Peñalver (the organiser) for betting on quality Flamenco … AUSTRALIA deserves to know and be trained in authentic flamenco … Thank you for bringing Manuel and for having my guitar once again. Thank you!!!!
Gracias Chachy Peñalver por apostar por el Flamenco de calidad… AUSTRALIA merece saber y ser formada en el autentico flamenco… Gracias por traer a Manuel y por contar con mi guitarra una vez mas. Gracias!!!!