Ana Benito at SITA
On March 7th and 8th, SITA welcomed Ana Benito, a Flamenco professional dancer from Spain.
Teacher and dancer for years, she came to Pondicherry for a few weeks and decided to choose SITA as a place to share her passion: Flamenco.
As professional Flamenco dancers are not quite common in Pondicherry, we welcomed her workshop with a great pleasure.
4 intensive hours were planned over two days to understand, discover and practice the Gypsies’ dance.
To bring better understanding of this art, Ana began the workshop with a brief historical and cultural trajectory of Flamenco.
From the music and dance origins to the evolution of people who have been cultivating this art for generations and generations, this first approach was necessary to fully understand the Flamenco culture.
But theory is not enough!
After listening carefully, the Flamenco beginners had to start with basics: how to walk, turn and coordinate feet and arms, which is not that easy for everyone…
But a workshop has to be richer than a simple class! No question for our future dancers to just learn 2 or 3 steps… Students were able to test some steps of the Soleares, one of the most common forms of Flamenco which is about deep feelings, most of the time melancholic ones.
Soleares is also a basis for Alegrías, a happier form, which participants could also test during the workshop.
But after trying to master 2 or 3 palos –form of Flamenco dance-, they had to move on to the next level… In almost 4 hours of intensive classes, the Flamenco workshop’s participants could almost all master one copla of the Sevillana!
Performing solo or in pairs, they managed to remember the steps and coordinate movements. The Sevillana is one of the most popular Flamenco dances; it includes 4 coplas, 4 little dances at the end of which each participant has to stop dancing.
The Sevillana songs can include many themes but are usually about love.
Tired but happy, participants told us they were happy to take their first steps in Flamenco and hope to keep on learning it.
Regular Flamenco classes at SITA? Why not… To be continued!