One of things that drew me to flamenco, apart from the rhythmic coordination challenge (which I shall come back to) was the rawness of it.
Take tango: It reigns in its tensions and sense of drama, expressing itself in measured movements and frowns, hinting that “there is so much more turmoil under the surface”, flamenco belches out it’s passion shamelessly. It slaps you in the face. It doesn’t so much tell a story of passion as it does present itself as THE abstract form of passion.
And just as our own passionate emotions are so very nuanced, so flamenco is composed of varying rhythms and metres. These are called ‘Compas’, the most frenetic being the 12-beat rhythms of palos (flamenco styles) such as Bulerias, and Alegrias.
Luckily, or more likely for obvious reasons, our teacher has chosen for us newbies, the ‘tango’ palo which with its 2/4 rhythms is one of the more manageable palos. I say manageable but….
Never has my brain been asked to coordinate so many simultaneous movements of my body.