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Thursday, December 7, 2023
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Step into your shoes and hit the floor

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Rains have arrived so the season of dance; however, Mumbai lands in a pothole, the city gets stalled but there is a good side of the season. People go out on the beaches just to get soaked in water; they enjoy pours with Garam Chai and Vada Pav. Love in the air becomes visible and with that the music and dance too. These days the urban woman is pursuing music for various reasons, they dance in the wedding sangeets to shows. Music has no boundaries. In the rainy season, Flamenco has its own charm.

Originally Flamenco dance has no set of music; it was only singing and clapping of hands called “toque de palmas”. Some Flamenco dancing still follows an ancient tradition, but the use of guitars and other musical instruments has become more popular in modern Flamenco.

Traditional Flamenco dancers rarely received any formal training. Instead, Flamenco was passed down from friends, relatives, and neighbours. These days there are Flamenco dance classes, people pay lump sum amount to learn and perceive their fantasies.

Mumbai is one great city where classical to contemporary dances have its place and audiences. Dance reality shows have actually survived on all such forms. Experts have explored and modified the styles but the culture of dance still remained most adorable.

While some Flamenco musicians and dancers still learn the Flamenco on their own, most modern Flamenco artists are professionally trained. Flamenco dancing can have many different purposes. Whether the dance is intended to be entertaining, romantic, or comforting, Flamenco is a very emotional style of dance. Flamenco dancers try to express their deepest emotions by using body movements and facial expressions. As the dancers perform, they may also clap their hands or kick their feet. Many dancers also snap small percussion handheld instruments called “castanets.”

With roots in Indian, Arabic, Spanish cultures, Flamenco dance is known for its sweeping arm movements and rhythmic feet stomping. Flamenco dancers spend a great deal of time practising and perfecting the often difficult dance. Flamenco is a Spanish art form made up of three parts: Guitar playing (“guitarra”), Song (“cante”), and Dance (“baile”).

Flamenco originated in the southern regions of Spain, but it’s thought to be influenced by many world cultures, including Latin American, Cuban, and Jewish traditions. Although there is no single Flamenco dance, dancers must follow a strict framework of rhythmic patterns. The steps a dancer performs are dependent on the traditions of the song being played. Perhaps the greatest joy of Flamenco dancing is watching the personal expressions and emotions of the dancer which change many times during a single performance.

Flamenco dancers, known as bailaores and bailaoras, are serious and passionate. Typical of Flamenco dance, a dancer will often stand motionless and free of expression for the first few moments of a song. As he or she begins to feel the music, the dancer might begin a steady beat of loud hand clapping. Then, as emotion builds, the dancer will begin a passionate dance. The dancing often involves fierce stomping, sometimes made louder with percussion attachments on the shoes, and graceful arm movements. Castanets are sometimes held in the hands for clicking, and folding fans are occasionally used for visual impact.

Probably the most important thing you will need to start Flamenco dancing is patience. The art of Flamenco dance is often difficult to master. Besides learning intricate steps and movements, you will also need to learn how to nonverbally communicate with a musician or a singer. You will be taught how to properly display your innermost emotions and feelings to an audience. However, with a good instructor and a bit of patience, even an inexperienced dancer can learn.

Leave aside Flamenco, the season in Mumbai right now says dance with your own moods, be it anything — Hindi film industry has given us many memorable songs, dances which we can’t miss in these rains. Flamenco dance too has many moves on Indian songs; the fusion has made it more interesting. So, step into your shoes and hit the floor.

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Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with three Honourary Doctorate in Journalism. Vaidehi has been an active journalist for the past 21 years, and is also the founding editor of an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, and The Democracy digital video news portal is her brain child. Vaidehi has three books in her name, "Sikhism vs Sickism", "Life Beyond Complications" and "Vedanti". She is an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, OSCP offensive securities, Certified Security Analyst and Licensed Penetration Tester that caters to her freelance jobs.
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