This story starts on the 29th of February 2008: the day I took a plane and moved from Budapest to Madrid. With all my savings hidden in a bag of tissues (a thousand euros…), I wanted to find out whether the burning love I felt was true love or just a flame that may be put out by the next big wind (as the good old Hungarian saying quotes). I could go back even further in time and start with the glorious old days of the European Union when smoking was still in fashion and we all believed in a better future together, and I could tell you about how as an exchange student in Paris in September 2005 I was introduced to Antonio from the south of Spain; a place called El Puerto de Santa María. But that’s a different story. This story starts on the 29th (!) of February 2008 when I arrived in Spain.
I first heard about flamenco when A. played songs of Camarón in our tiny flat in Lavapiés but I only started to find more interest in it when we went to see Sara Baras dance in her show ‘Carmen’. Spectacular. I believe everyone would find the flamenco dance moves, rhythm and energy fascinating. I also think that the production behind the shows of Sara Baras have exactly this intention: to amaze the non-professional audience. The stage, the lights, the choreography, the dresses, the colours are simply astounding but leave little for improvisation or for personal touch. The same show is repeated over and over again during weeks or sometimes months in one location. Mass production for the mass, says my mind now. However, it serves perfectly the purpose of introducing people to flamenco all around the world (may this be her purpose or not). It shows the essentials of flamenco.
In my new Madrid life I soon found myself with plenty of free time in the evenings. I was interested in flamenco and in ballet at that time, but I knew little about both. So I asked my sister-in-law, C. -who knew both art forms well- what should I do. Shall I start taking flamenco lessons or sign up for beginner’s ballet? Most politely she said that starting ballet at the age of 25 may not result in much success, but I might enjoy flamenco. So I signed up for classes in ‘El Horno’ in Tirso de Molina and started to learn about compás, contratiempo, moving my arms and legs in different directions at the same time…
Years passed by since those hot afternoons in ‘El Horno’. I have listened to lots of flamenco since, have been to many concerts, participated in many classes learning to dance alegrías, bulerías, tangos, guajira (or tried at least…) and my admiration and love for flamenco is still going strong.
I would like to share my passion for flamenco with all of you out there who still read blogs and are interested.