Spanish Suite

ABOUT SPANISH DANCE CULTURE.


* Just as I did not bother about my birth, I'm not worring about my death.
(Federico García Lorca, spanish poet, dramatist and theatre director)
* To die with honor is more valuable than to live dishonored.
(Hernán Cortés de Monroy,  Spanish Conquistador)

 

For the Spanish life is a struggle and Paso Doble dance is about it. Proud and temperamental, they believed that only the torrero-winner worthy of life, worthy of success, worthy of love.

 

   Paso Doble is a Spanish dance that has a lot to do with flamenco and fandango. In Spanish, Pasodoble means "double step", though at first the dance was called the «Spanish One Step». It was performed under marching music on 2/4 with an emphasis on the first beat, 90% of the music is a gypsy "Espana Cani", in which there are three musical accents. These accents are present in the Paso Doble. The first part is the beginning of corrida, the second - a fight with a bull, the third - the triumph of victory.

Andrew & Liana Spanish Dance

Andrew & Liana s Spanish Dance on Vimeo.

Roles, images, and character. 

   Paso Doble, like many other Spanish dances, displays one of the aspects of everyday life of the Spaniards, especially Corrida - bullfighting, wich is a traditional Spanish show that also practices  in some other countries, particularly in South America. 

Press the picture to enlarge.


 

"She loved him. She Knew that he was the most skilful Torero. He was the best that owned a Mulet. A shining Sword seemed an extension of his flexible hand. But although he was the most skilful and fast, beautiful and fearless, he never became a famous matador. For the matador he could not do the most important thing. He could not kill. And for that she loved him."
Leonid Yengibarov.


The word "Corrida" is formed from the verb "Correr", the principal meaning of which is "run". This verb has other meanings​​, in particular, "Correr una suerte" - undergo SUCCESSION fate. Therefore, the meaning of the phrase "Corrida de Toros" can be translated as "Running of the Bulls".

The Art of Killing
 

   The dance is a kind of theatrical performance, which depicts a proud partner, the confident torero. Lady has several roles: the main one - is the fatal temptress Carmen that brakes the hearts of many men.

Carmen - Spanish Movie Trailer

Carmen - Spanish movie  on Vimeo.

   The second role of the lady is the cape of the bullfighter.with it he teases the bull. Among the major figures of the Paso Doble there is a figure called "Chasse Cape". Sometimes lady may represent another torero or his assistant. Some sources attribute to female partners, either as a joke or seriosly, the role of the vanquished bull, but it's unlikely that you will find at any girl that wants to fulfill this role...

 

The History of hte Dance Origin.

  Bullfights first appeared on the island of Crete , and in the Middle Ages they became popular in Spain. The early 18th century Spanish bullfight closely resemble modern ones. Entrance of a bullfighter in the arena accompanied by music, and the favorite spectacle of Spaniards displayed throuhg the art of dance. Some sources claim that French first reflected these actions in dance. Southern France is not far from Spain, and already in 1910  French dancers were dancing the "One Step" dance - the so-called prototype of the Paso Doble. In the 1920's Spanish bullfighting was manifested in scenic dancing. Since 1945, the Paso Doble was entered in the competition program of ballroom Latin dances .


Strictly Ballroom - Last Dance Scene

 

What is Paso Doble?

  The dance is performed to the accompaniment of music with a 2 /4 beat. Main role in the Paso Doble is given to the partner, so often the Paso Doble is called a "master's dance" . The Torero brings to the viewers his pride, courage, arrogance, superiority, thirst to survive in a duel to the death. The Lady simulates a red cape in the hands of the bullfighter, she adjusts to the movement of the man with flexibility and grace. The audience feels the tension and hidden expression between the partners. Paso Doble movement is strict, but the character gives the dancers a lot of artistic freedom. Many figures of the Paso Doble require continuous physical contact between the partners, which involve all muscle groups. Man and woman touching the entire surface of their bodies - from the chest to the hips. Paso Doble is a complicated dance to perform and requires daily exercise from the dancers. A Paso Doble dancer will spend many months of hard work before the basic motion can be developed.

Modern Competitive Pasodoble

Modern Competitive Pasodoble - Nino Langella - Khrystyna Moshenska on Vimeo.

Features of the Paso Doble.

 In the first place, Paso Doble is the dance of resistance, outer stillness and even coldness, against the inner fire. Paso Doble has a special posture that differentiates it from other dances. The name of this look is called the "Spanish line" in the body: lifted breasts and drooping shoulders, rigidly fixed head, sometimes tilted downward and forward, aloft chest conveys a sense of pride and the head tilted downwards copyed the posture of a matador. Most of the steps are performed from the heel while the knees remain straight. This is the fastest dance of the Latin American program and the only one in which the main role is played not by the lady but by the partner.

Pasodoble - America's Got Talent

D Angelo and Amanda - Paso Doble - America s Got Talent on Vimeo.

   In the Paso Doble, compared with other Latin American dances, the emphasis is not on technic, but on the character. This is the only dance that is built on the music.

Flamenco.

   In recent decades  Flamenco has become an integral part of the Paso Doble. Emotional. Passionate. Rhythmical. Flamenco - is the path that leads to inner joy and liberation, though outwardly it is imbuded with sadness and compassion. It seems that with every beat and every movement Flamenco wants to find something from the depths of the human spirit...

Twisting arms, proud posture, rhythmic clicking of heels, piercing eyes, passion and fire ... Sensual Spanish dance inner liberation, with a clear rhythm and beautiful guitar music - this is flamenco.

To grasp the essence of flamenco it is not enough to learn the dance on the professional level and to learn the techniques of playing the guitar with all the nuances and peculiarities of its musical styles. You must be able to feel the spirit of flamenco that evolved over the centuries and peoples art. Some of the artists actually realize that the path of flamenco with its specific internal values ​​can be religious. At the heart of this appeal lies the path to itself, to the knowledge that slumber inside, can be woken up by a deep experience: a song that comes from the heart, soul that brings with a storm of emotions and " sapateado " - rhythmic tapping heels.

In modern flamenco there are three main components - the Cante (cante - singing) Bailey (baile - dancing) and Toke (toque - a musical playing).

Flamenco, Flamenco Movie

 

Flamenco at the moment is an art-egregore that formed spiritual knowledge and traditions of the various peoples of medieval Andalusia and focused :
* Strengthening the spirit through the emotional distress;
* Filling movement, color , sound, and feelings;
* Integration of different forms of knowledge at the same rythm;
* Bringing consciousness to the harmony and balance.

All of this is sealed with an inner strength of flamenco, its spirit - "duende" . Without the "duende" flamenco loses its deep and subtle content, its inner essence. In the "duende" one should seek the true art of dance, rather than its emotional form. Today, many artists tend to draw inspiration from the dance, but that's the feature of flamenco that without inspiration no one should  try to dance it, because without the "duende", a force of Flamenco, the dance becomes a weak improvisation. If it's missing, then attempt to find it or imitate it only its emotional replacement form, and this is the difference between true art and a fictional one.

Ballet Joaquin Cortes​

Ballet Joaquin Cortes on Vimeo.


 

    How do you find the key to understanding the spirit of flamenco ? This question stirs the minds and hearts of every artist that studies this dance. Any beginner learns this art in several stages. First is the setting of the body, then studying the positions of the hands and feet, a thorough testing of the movement of the hands. Then an important stage: staging impact of the foot and heel, so-called "sapateado" ( real flamenco dancer can produce five different sounds with their feet) . Particular attention is given to the positions of the head and gaze, as these elements give the proper character to the dancer. And the students have to understand the "Campas" (rhythmic patterns characteristic of each form of flamenco) and than master the claps "Jaleo". Next is to learn to feel the music and let yourself improvise, weaving together the technique and innate temperament.

But for the "duende" it is not enough ! "Duende" requires a special state of mind , inspiration, which is known to be very unpredictable.

Amazing Flamenco Selection Video


Spanish theme in the world's art.

 Spanish theme has left its mark on the world's culture. Classic works of "Carmen" by Bizet, "Don Quixote" by Cervantes, paintings of Francisk Goya continues to fascinate millions of viewers around the world.

La Traviata - Vasiliev & Maximova

   The image of a bullfighter, a symbol of masculinity, courage, and sometimes even recklessness, the image of the modern superhero gives boys and young men a clear picture of male energy. Defiant and proud Carmen educates girls and young women in self-esteem.

Toy Story 3 - Buzz Spanish Dance​

Paso Double was born in Spain, but it's considered their own in the lands of Latin America. This dance, like life, involves passion, love, struggle, defeat, victory and death!

   Dance and be happy!
Special thanks to Katherine Crawford with her help in translation.


Andrew Lobankoff