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Flamencos of the World

Our numbers increase every day, and we, flamencos of Andalusia, are ever less lonely.

As we near Christmas, I’d like to use this column to send warm greetings to all the flamenco aficionados of the world, specially to the ever-increasing legion of readers of this opinion platform. I have always perceived flamenco as an universal art form, and at the same time I feel privileged to have been born in the cradle of this art, Andalusia. In Seville, no less, a city where I’ve been for over forty years listening to cante and toque, and watching baile. In all these years I’ve met hundreds of people from other countries who have came here not just to learn to perform this art, but to love it. Sometimes I’ve asked myself if I would be able to abandon my homeland to enjoy one type of music, any type of music, and I confess that it would be something very hard to do. This is why I admire so much those who do it.

I have a dear friend in Brasilia, Patricia El-moor, who has her own flamenco academy in that important Brazilian city and who has been coming here for many years to take flamenco lessons from great masters. I admire all her effort, financial and personal, to always keep up-to-date in everything related to flamenco, teaching her students not only to dance, but to understand and love this artistic genre, which is so ancient and so modern, and always so alive. There are many human beings like her scattered throughout the world, who sometimes give us lessons in dedication and passion. Those of us lucky enough to live in the cradle of the jondo sometimes don’t realize the value of what we have, perhaps because we have it in our own homes, in the bar next door, in the tavern across the street, in the air, on the sidewalks, in the popular feasts, in the weddings and in the christenings. Flamenco is something we inherit from our mothers at birth. Many times, perhaps too many times, we ignore how important it is. We don’t even appreciate the fact that thousands of people around the world love it and work for it.

I feel very privileged that a dear friend, Jafelin Helten, noticed me and my writing style and invited me to be a blogger for ExpoFlamenco. It is a true honor. This is not the best of times for me in my personal life, and sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all the professional and family matters that I have to take care of. Yet, I accepted the offer because I was thrilled to know that someone with so much flamenco sensibility decided to undertake this difficult enterprise, thousands of miles from Andalusia. This goes to show what I said at the beginning of this article, that it’s worth admiring the fact that people from other lands do so much work in behalf of this important Andalusian cultural heritage.

Besides, it’s important to point out that in ExpoFlamenco I’m allowed to express myself as I wish, without any demands or requirements, as I do in El Correo de Andalucia, which has been my home for so many years. This is priceless, my friends. I have high hopes to write for ExpoFlamenco for a long time, expressing my opinions about the things of this art we all love so much, because that will mean that this website would have succeeded. I ask for your daily support, and I send hugs and kisses a compás, to all the flamencos of the world. Our numbers increase every day, and we, flamencos of Andalusia, are ever less lonely.

 

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Arahal, Sevilla, 1958. Crítico de flamenco, periodista y escritor. 40 años de investigación flamenca en El Correo de Andalucía. Autor de biografías de la Niña de los Peines, Carbonerillo, Manuel Escacena, Tomás Pavón, Fernando el de Triana, Manuel Gerena, Canario de Álora...

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