I’m currently writing a terpsichorean Alegrias number along with rehearsing a favorite solo piece for the next show sometime in Spring 2018. It contains influences and personal interpretations of music that I have been listening to ranging from Paco De Lucia (Spain), Vincete Amigo (Spain), Gabriel Osuna (Los Angeles), Moraito Chico (Spain), Enrique de Melchor (Spain), and my maestro and sensei – Jose Tanaka (Los Angeles).
The Alegrias number opens with a slow and flowing solea in tempo rubato. It has a sad, longing feeling which builds you up into a confusing free fall of notes and chords, then finally ends in dissonance without emotional resolution. Now, the song restarts, taking the dissonant chords and turning them into a Major scale in al compas of a traditional Alegrias. It contains the standard elements of an Alegrias (remate, llamada, silencio, cierre, etc) but with jazz-infused chords to give it a dreamy feeling.
Heading into the silencio, the number will gradually slow down and be played softer, allowing the dancer to move in long, wide sweeping moves across the stage and resolve herself into either a full, upright stance or a cocooned state with her flowing dress, shawl and veil.
Here is where the silencio starts. The song goes into a Minor and diminished mode to bring out the sadness and struggle of emotions.
Finally, the number resolves itself into the Major mode to bring conclusion and happiness to the Alegrias.
The number is intended to bring you to a heightened physical/emotional response where you might feel the chills, make you smile, or even cry. This is the emotional state called duende.
It is a reflection of the emotional authenticity of the human condition of simultaneous joys and sorrows. You’ll know it when you feel it. It is a common experience in Flamenco music.
Once I have the song completed, it will be set to choreography for a Flamenca dancer to perform with it.
I will play this live with a Flamenca dancer.
The other peice I will be playing? You’ll have to go to the show to find out! 🙂