Friday, January 6, 2012

"Out of The Mouths of Babes...."

For those who don't know me, my name is Jason. My wife, Mele, and I are both professional flamenco dancers. We met when she uprooted her life in Tucson, AZ to come to Burque (Albuq., NM) to become a member of a flamenco dance company there in its infant stages. We fell in love (ahh yeah), got married (ahhh yeah), and had a wonderful baby girl named Lola (ahhhh yeah!). We have since taken this ancient wisdom that is flamenco back to Tucson where we now teach and perform; in fact, it's part livelihood, part labor of love for us.

We find ourselves in an interesting position. You see, for years we've exposed Lola to flamenco. She was in the studio everyday for the first 2 years of her life. She's joined us on stage....sometimes willingly, most times begrudgingly. We have always thought it best to keep her exposed to it and to leave the door open should she decide this is something she would like to do. We know the benefits to the soul and the financial struggles as well, so we wrestle with the prospect that she might one day consider this way of life when pondering career possibilities. Ironically, Lola has, in her innocence, given us the perspective we were hoping to give her.

We're about a week away from beginning kids' flamenco classes in our studio, which Lola eagerly awaits, but not for the reasons we had originally hoped. She has a friend from school who will be joining her, and she has always loved playing with other children. It's clear that Lola is much more interested in socializing than structured dancing. At first, we wished her motivation for participation would be her love for flamenco as music and as art. Mele and I shared an epiphany however, and realized it was we who needed to learn from her.

We've always preached that flamenco begins in the home and in the community. We've always been aware that we, as Americans (USA) come at flamenco backwards, that is to say, we take the discipline of our choice (mostly guitar and dance) and approach flamenco from a soloist's point of view. We realize that flamenco, in its purest form, is people communicating things to each other that they can't fully express through simple conversation, and with no concern about who might be watching.

In reminding us of these things, Lola has proven to be more flamenco than either of us. We can easily get caught up in art and forget the life and community the art is supposed to be reflecting! Flamenco is best done in innocence and with honesty, just as child does it. Ole tu Lola.

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