28 May 2004

No one expects Flamenco!

An ex-coworker of my wife is married to a flamenco dancer named Julie. She was dancing again at Compound off of Howell Mill last night, so we went to see the spectacle.

Flamenco originates from Andalusia, Spain. It consists of different cante (singing) forms based on their rhythm and harmonic structure. Those forms are classified into three groups: the serious cante jondo, the light cante chico, and the catch-all cante intermedio.

Singers are the most important part; dancers follow the singing; instruments follow the dancing.

At Compound, Julie was accompanied by a guitarist and percussionist, and they played against some additional recorded music (mostly sythesized strings, but some additional guitar, I believe). They performed in an open garden area that has a reflecting pool and fountains right inside the front gate. The setting and the weather very much complemented the Spanish entertainment.

The audience was receptive and grew more so as the evening went on ... contribute that to what you will, glug-glug-glug ... but also as the late-nighters started their evening and packed the joint. The performers began at 10:00 and, IIRC, continued until around midnight.

At one point, she invited several dancers from the audience to dance with her. Apparently, there's quite a flamenco subculture here in Atlanta, and we got to hear some of what goes on in the seedy underbelly! There's a matriarch, in-fighting, musician loyalty ... all very heated and Latin. This could become a regular spectacle to see this summer.

Side note: Compound is pretty cool and all, with nice outside areas to just hang out in, but it's a little pricey ($10/person) if you're not into the dance club scene. Worth it for the Flamenco though!

[ posted by sstrader on 28 May 2004 at 1:46:03 PM in Misc ]