I have everything I had 20 years ago,
only it’s all a little lower.
Gypsy Rose Lee
She was only 12 years old when her little heart was swept away by a flamenco performance. Since then, Marina Elana has dedicated her life to a dance that requires grace and the disciplined precision of the “compas” (rhythmic pattern.)
El baile flamenco is known for its emotional intensity, proud stance, expressive use of the arms and rhythmic stamping of the feet. In traditional flamenco, emotional maturity is required to adequately convey the “duende” (soul) of the genre. Thus, unlike other dance forms where dancers must turn professional early to take advantage of youth, many flamenco dancers hit their peak in their thirties and continue to perform well beyond their fifties–much like the way a woman owns more and more of her power with age.
“Classical flamenco,” the style used by dance companies, is characterized by a proud, upright carriage that makes every woman look like the Powerful Goddess that she is. At its most authentic, flamenco is danced informally at gitano (Gypsy) weddings and celebrations in Spain. “Flamenco puro,” the form closest to its gitano origins, is always performed as a solo improvisation.
And in the tradition of the courageous gypsies who originated this dance, Marina now makes New York her new home, designing her destiny with a production “Simplemente Flamenco” at Le Poisson Rouge this Friday, Feb. 3, 2012. Ole!
© Sharon Birke
201 697 1947
Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother
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