If you tell Carlos that you often have an urge to look up at the sky and scream out loud, Carlos would smile and say, “Just learn Flamenco.” Flamenco maestro Carlos says that unlike Salsa which is best with a partner, or even better, with a community of dancers, this dance form is all about individual expression. “Every Flamenco dancer is different from the other. Your joy or sorrow can never be the same as mine and neither will the expression of either of these emotions.” With that, he breaks into a dance, creating rhythm with his heels tapping hard on the wooden floor of the dance studio. It’s difficult not to tap your feet with him, even though there is no music.
Everything about Flamenco is flamboyant, the hand movement, the feet tapping and the facial expression. Flamenco is believed to have originated among the gypsies in the Andalusia region of Spain. Carlos says that the gypsies travelled from India through Russia and parts of Europe before coming to Spain. So it’s not very surprising to him that the dance form uses the feet for rhythm and the hands for expressing emotions, much like most Indian dance forms.
Carlos is in Bangalore for two and half months to teach Flamenco. The 100-hour course is intensive—he hopes to teach it to a few people at least. “Once you learn the technique, you can improvise on it. The more your dance displays your personal emotion, the more beautiful it is,” says the 54-year-old dancer who has been travelling across the world teaching and introducing Flamenco for the last 30 years.
Like any other dance form, the basics of Flamenco include posture, hand and foot movement and, most importantly, a sense of connection between the rhythm of the body with the rhythm of the music. So if you want to free your soul, pick up your dancing shoes, snap your fingers and go ole!
Weekend sessions cost start from Rs4,500 plus Rs500 for registration. Classes will be held at two locations, Loured Vijay Dance Studio, Vasanthnagar and The Zone, Kormangala, Bangalore. For details log on www.lvds.in
Video by Hemant Mishra