Flamenco is a present activity. When we are dancing Flamenco, we are asking ourselves to attune to a rhythm, to other people and to ourselves. We are asking ourselves to become receptive and aware. We engage in a process of acclimatizing to what is happening around us, specifically the idiosyncrasies of the music and the uniqueness of everyone involved. When working with Flamenco music, we learn to use specific tools that help us relate well to our surrounding environment — tools of communication. We know now that there is a relationship between the brain regions governing those muscles responsible for producing speech sounds and those governing the muscles that allow us humans to move. We are speaking with our bodies when we dance, as so many of us have known for so long. And so, with our bodies, using specific "rhythmic shapes" and dosing our energy, we can call for the participation of others. We can create harmonious effects by embellishing the phrasing of the music. We can also "mark" the music, mapping out the beats of the rhythmic cycle while dancing. Because Flamenco is a present activity, it demands that we mark in such a way that we are open to receive, including our own intuition. Stillness can be vital for that, at certain moments. Often that is why we might play a few rhythmic rounds with our hands, tapping out the rhythm we want or the rhythm we hear, as the measured and repetitive contact of the skin of the palms of our hands draws us in sensorily to what we might do. That vast area of possibility that we create then becomes the space of creativity and play where we can release reservations and ambivalence and slip into ourselves. There's an alertness, sometimes bordering on panic, and everything seems more alive. Gratitude spontaneously arises from engagement with the elements that fuse around us. It all goes into the fire.
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