Flamenco dancers Yolit Yospe (left) and Cecilia Terrasa with guitarist Miguelito at University of Mary Washington's Multicultural Fair. April 14, 2012 (photo by Celinda)
It's 3-something on a Wednesday afternoon as I type the words. I'm happy to report that business is pickin' up for us local performers. Is it the economy? The unseasonably warmer weather? Who knows? The point is to enjoy it while it lasts.
So this past Saturday, I performed at University of Mary Washington's Multicultural Fair with dancers Yolit Yospe and Cecilia Terrasa. If you're a DC local, you know about the weather we've been having: unusually hot and sunny one day, then back to normal cold and windy. Since we were scheduled to perform on the outdoor stage, I was crossing my fingers and hoping for warm and sunny. Mother Nature was kind to us and granted us a beautiful day, thank you!
Yolit dancing tangos. April 14, 2012 (photo by Celinda)
At around 75° F and breezy, it was a bit on the warm side but not quite enough to need my Ten Tips for Outdoor Flamenco Performances in Hot Weather. Although in retrospect, I think wearing sunglasses would've helped. I could see just fine in the sun, but let's be honest, squinting while performing doesn't look good.
Cecilia dancing soleá. April 14, 2012 (photo by Celinda)
For our 40-minute time slot, we opted for a simple program:
Soleá solo by Cecilia
Tangos solo by Yolit
Interspersed with educational commentary, I gave our audience a crash course in the basics of flamenco history. While we could've easily gotten away with doing the show without a little spiel, I like to do my part in informing the general public the little-known facets of flamenco especially the part about how the guitarist follows the dancer and singer and the "secret" signals to the guitarist known as llamadas.
That almost always seems to impress people about how we can almost go onstage with little or no rehearsal and pull off a performance as if we've performing together for years. The skill of an experienced performer is demonstrated in how clear the dancer communicates what she wants musically through her movements and how the guitarist picks up on these cues and provides suitable accompaniment that musically complements the dancer.
Yolit and Cecilia dancing Sevillanas. April 14, 2012 (photo by Celinda)
It was funny how when I introduced the dancers and myself to the audience, I announced which countries we represent and we got cheers from respective members of the audience. Yolit is from Israel. Cecilia is from Spain. And I have filipino heritage although I was born in LA.
View of the stage after our flamenco performance. April 14, 2012 (self-portrait using my iPod Touch camera)
Thanks to my contact Adriana and the University of Mary Washington for letting us be a part of their Multicultural Fair! Incidentally, this wasn't my first time here. I performed here back in the late 90's with the group Sol y Sombra.
Flashback to the Multicultural Fair in 1996: that's me and dancer Edwin Aparicio with the DC-based group Sol y Sombra. April 1996
Special thanks to Celinda aka my mom for the performance pics! So happens she lives closeby to the University.