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Outside the window, I hear the sound of a hammer hitting the metal sheet. My cup of coffee is touching the saucer sonorously. A knife creaks on the glass board as I cut the bread, and the bottle of olive oil hits the worktop. Even though it is an ordinary Wednesday, I put on my blue flamenco shoes which I brought from Cadiz, and tap out my internal beat on the kitchen floor.
Flamenco – the dance that sticks to the ground born from everyday sounds. Its roots lie in the Roma migration from Rajasthan in northwest India to Andalusia in southern Spain between the 9th and 14th centuries. The wanderers encountered in Andalusia the rich cultures of the Sephardic Jews and the Moors. Cadiz was the biggest European port and melting pot of various nations. Therefore, in the flamenco rhythm, we can sense energy from Africa. Through centuries-long cultural intermingling, it made the unique flamenco culture that is famous today. But it still the most alive in Seville, Cadiz, and Jerez.
The characteristic rhythmic feet stomping of flamenco resembles the patter of horses pulling the Gypsy camper, or the clink of a blacksmith’s hammer. But maybe it reminds you of your daily bustle while you making breakfast or dinner? Dancers also emphasize the rhythm by clapping, hitting castanets, or shaking the tambourine. The dynamics of emotions are expressed through exclamations and facial expressions. During a lonely, but fiery dance, the frill of a long dress flutters, and a scarf with fringes spread over the shoulders of a dancer like the wings of the great bird.
Let’s listen to the sounds of your ordinary life and discover the heart – the flamenco metronome.
My Thursday flamenco classes I had two years ago in Galway inspired me to write the series of poems. Here is the one:
Flamenco #4 Mariposa*
Rain is splashing on the faces
but we wear frilly skirts
our feelings are tapping with heels
on Thursday’s floor.
Rain is lashing on the back
but we float to the radiance
like tulips, and song of pain
changes in vivacious butterfly
Rain is flooding to the scenery
but whatever will happen
four women celebrate
Mariposa – means buterfly in Spanish.