Saturday, September 22, 2007

Spain: Flamenco and more!

Pilar is a friend from my Berkeley days. She and her husband moved their whole family from Colmenar Viejo (just outside of Madrid) to Berkeley for a year. They took language and business courses and enrolled their kids in the local schools. They are true entrepreneurs and continue their adventures with their new business that they have started up in Spain.

Pilar and I went to a traditional flamenco show one night.
Apparently flamenco is most famous in southern Spain and typically performed by the Spanish Roma Tribe people who are forever capturing my cross continental European attention. Each muscle, eye, and smile or grimace were all part of the dance. Clap clap-clap-clap SMACK SMACK! It was all planned.The volume, the sound, and the tone take turns climbing and falling. The musical feet click-click-click Stamp-stomp stamp-stomp faster than my eyes could manage, forcing me to depend on sound, which was still grounded by reality. Ale! Toma! The crowd yells. "Ale Miguel!" one of the dancers agrees. "Escucha" someone else yells who prefers everyone listen quietly. But the crowd continues on. The dancers and musicians feed each other through their struggles, sadness, anger, and occasional smiles that allow us to applaud.

The music ends suddenly and quickly continues again, against our expectations. The dancers move faster than I thought possible. Each knuckle, finger and eye placement are perfectly placed and ask the musician to play louder, softer, or longer. The dancer continues past what is humanly possible while sweat drips down their faces and saturates their clothing.

It was amazing!

This is the train station in Madrid:
I took over at the place that Pilar took me to eat traditional Spanish tortilla. Scoot over master chef...

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