Every culture has a way of relating to the unknown, the unpredictable, and the mysterious. In the US, we have Halloween, a time when we are willing to face death in the eye, celebrate our imagination, dance with our friends at parties, and do it all with a sense of irreverence, even mockery.
In my native Spain, there is a Flamenco dance called Bulerías. Even though Bulerías doesn’t have the ghost’s theme, it has many of the above attributes...
Bulerías challenges you to deal with the unpredictable (the rhythmical accents are intricate and can constantly change)
Bulerías requires you to be witty and imaginative in your dancing (in the traditional form, you improvise to very quick-tempo music)
Bulerías is a Baile por Fiesta, which means the setting for the dance is not necessarily the theater, but friends or family gathering together to share a good time.
… And the Bulerías is often danced with a sense of mockery. In fact, many experts think that the word Bulerías comes from the word burla (mockery in Spanish).
While the Bulerías doesn’t have the witches, monsters, and skeletons theme, those dancers who have mastered Bulerías are applauded as “monstruos” (monsters in Spanish).
Last year, I spent the winter in Spain interviewing experts for my cultural anthropology research entitled The Mystery of Bulerías. Today, I want to share with you this video from my Fascinating Interviews series featuring Juan Paredes, a renown Bulerías master teacher from Seville. Take a look and get a bit closer to unveiling the “Mystery of Bulerías”
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