Friday, March 19, 2010

Let’s Dance #2

I’m pleased to report that the discussion triggered in the previous post continues, but for most of you I feel it’s time for something more light-hearted. Mrs Dilo and I are going off to the hills today for the first weekend binge organised by our Romanian folk-dance group, and we're very much looking forward to it. So...

Carmen Amaya is still for me the best flamenco dancer who ever lived, though of course I haven't seen them all. Just look at the arms and the way she works the skirt with her legs though, interestingly, she’s as famous in trousers dancing like a bloke, a style she made her own. She was becoming a star by the end of the 1930s and, as gypsy tradition demands, had to employ members of her extended family as much as possible: she eventually had an entourage of cousins and uncles at all times performing nominal tasks.... she never became rich! She was also ill; and, they say, it was only the dancing that kept her from dying - when she stopped, she died. Here she is just two years before her death. Now, I know that not everybody here likes dance, but, don’t worry, there’s also a fair amount of sitting down in this; there now; but I’d like to think you’ll also want to wait and see her standing up, if only so you’ll know never to cross such a woman:

15 comments:

Lulu LaBonne said...

Wow - she is fantastic!

The end is certainly worth waiting for and I have picked up some good tips on sitting down dancing - for those days when I'm feeling a bit lazy.

Gorilla Bananas said...

She can certainly move quickly, but I like my flamenco to have a bit more pouting sexuality. Her hands movements were clearly an inspiration for both Shirley Bassey and Benny Hill.

Gaw said...

Magnificent and quite terrifying. Those biceps! Their hands must have developed callouses from the force of the clapping. I also liked how the flamenco was part of the conversation. It also made me wonder about the status of women in these macho Latin societies. Would you mess with her? God no.

Thank you very much - it's great to be introduced to something so extraordinary.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Lulu, great that you like it! Amsolutely, sitting down dancing is not to be mocked; in fact I wonder if anybody has ever started a flamenco class for paraplegics.

Bananas, the choice is yours, but the best flamenco is not girlie tottie giving you the wink, it's seriously scary mamas giving you the wink ;-) Benny Hill would have been my second choice after Carmen.

Gaw, thanks, it's also a pleasure for me to make this kind of thing better known. The calling in flamenco is usually more an encouragement to the performer than a conversation, but the drama is certainly involving! Re macho, she could well be under the control of a husband who'd be earning very nicely off her and doing little in return :-(

worm said...

very excellent stuff! I once went out with a girl from Seville who did all that flamingo dancing. She was a right nutter

Kevin Musgrove said...

Not a lady you'd want to get into a fight with!

And what an astonishing ending.

zmkc said...

This is so wonderful.

No Good Boyo said...

If only Benny and Shirl had got it on, what a child that would have been.

Flamenco can only be improved by the addition of a yakkety-sax soundtrack.

Madame DeFarge said...

I'm in awe. Dumbstruck. I could almost have a girl crush on her.

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

Is she the secret mother of Joe Calzaghe? I get in a bit of a 2 and 8 like that when my pizza dough won't seize, too. These fiery Spanish dancers are not to be messed with, as I learned in Seville when I went to see the formidable Blanca del Rey.

Eryl Shields said...

God, she's tremendous, and those arms! I'm getting some weights.

Susan said...

Love her frilly dresses - and her matador style outfit too! Have you tried Zumba? It's great fun...

Gadjo Dilo said...

Worm, good for you, we owe it too ourselves and our store of memories to sometimes go out with girls who are right nutters!

Kevin, quite; and if she told you your fortune I think you'd feel compelled to believe it.

zmkc, glad you like it :-)

Boyo, the bastard love-child of Benny and Shirl... running about to the tune of Yakkety Sax... hmm, indeed, I fancy it would look like a dusky Christopher Biggins.

Madame, this video seems to have had an even bigger impact than I'd hoped it would :-)

Daph, Joe Calzaghe? He's Welsh-Italian though, isn't he? Maybe Carmen once toured the Valleys and conceived Joe's dad after a tryst with an choc-ice-selling coal miner. Ah yes, Bianca del Rey is another good 'un!

Eryl, I'm not sure that physical strength is the key here; you might make better use of your time by working on your "killer stare" :-)

Susan, the zumba? Unfortunately that link you give doesn't work :-( Like this? Looks fun.

touch said...

Give a fool enough rope and he will hang himself. ........................................

Gadjo Dilo said...

wah??