We’re pleased to welcome our flamenco Guest Artists at Spanish Dance Singapore this month, Francesca Grima (Dance) and Andrej Vujicic (Cajon). Flamenco aficionados can join either of these classes:
SUN 29 SEPT
11am – 12.30pm: Flamenco Technique
12.30 – 2.00pm: Bulerias (with cajon accompaniment)
Venue: Dance on Us
ABOUT THE WORKSHOPS
In the technique class, students will practice and clean up footwork, work to improve compás.
This class will allow students to learn a set of sequences in arms, upper body and footwork, which can be used and repeated in the future to improve technique, strengthening skills and introducing different marking and escobilla ideas.
Bulerias A Golpe
For the second class, Andrej and Francesca will give a slow Bulerias a Golpe class, where participants will learn a short, simple dance extract, practising with accompaniment to cajon
TANIA (+65) 973 777 03 / E: email@example.com
Fees (1.5h): $70
Level: Upp Beginner – Intermediate
Enjoy these videos and get to know Francesca and Andrej!
Francesca shares her journey in this Flamenco Australia interview. Click here for the full interview. Meanwhile, here are some extracts.
“We have been living in Seville for the past 20 years now and definitely the first 5 years were not easy in terms of having to break into the scene and to start performing alongside local musicians and compete for places in companies, tablaos, festivals etc. There was a lot of hard work and financial and artistic insecurities especially at the beginning.”
Twenty years into her career in Seville, it would seem that her hard work has paid off. In addition to touring and performances with her own company, Chica performs regularly in Tablao Álvarez Quintero in Seville, keeping her busy with a range of tasks that come with being a professional artist.
“There’s teaching, admin, studio rental, implementing ideas for new shows, choreographies, marketing, tours, technical riders, costumes, make up, lists upon lists of constant things to do! My typical day would be admin first thing in the morning and organising the studio space which I rent out. Then it’s training, sometimes even gym and in the evening its tablao from 6pm to 10pm and then of course socialising after the tablao to wind down before going to bed. I do also have some teaching and obviously any touring or weekend performances break the routine which in some way is very much appreciated after so many hours of dancing. I practice and train 3 hours a day, 7 days a week, and no I haven’t yet got bored of it!”
Early on in her career, Chica received some important advice from Melbourne guitarist Manuel Varela: Listen to as much flamenco as possible and do flamenco only if you are totally in love with it. The moment you lose interest in it, best to stop it.
Fortunately for us, Chica is still obsessed with flamenco and continues to impart her passion for it through her performances and teaching.
“What I really love most about my job is being on stage in the middle of it, when it starts cooking and it starts to happen on its own and something else takes over and everyone is carried on this heightened emotion and spirit which is just propelling us with a wave of energy and emotion. In a tablao situation for example it is impossible to have a cluncky pre-made entire choreography. It will just not work. You really have to be in the moment, have experience and intuition to correctly anticipate the singer’s and guitarist’s intentions. There is too much emphasis nowadays on premade choreography and dance and not enough on understanding on how the dance organically develops and how it is put together organically. So seeing someone dance who has a real understanding of flamenco and is a true aficionado of all its aspects and knows how to resolve the spontaneous variations is a real joy to watch on stage. The more I do flamenco the more I enjoy the tablao improvised experience.”