When you are learning flamenco dance, how do you find the small nuances of the body? This is a question that came up in our survey (if you haven't had a chance to tell us what you think you can still do so here!) and I thought it would be a good topic to write about today.
So, what is a nuance?
This is the definition from the Merriam Webster online dictionary...
- : a subtle distinction or variation
- : a subtle quality : nicety
- : sensibility to, awareness of, or ability to express delicate shadings (as of meaning, feeling, or value)
I like the last definition - sensibility to, awareness of, or ability to express delicate shadings - in our case we are talking about delicate shadings of movement.
So, where are these small nuances hiding and how can you find them?
The answer is that they live inside you right now and you will find them when they appear naturally as you dance.
You can't force these subtle movements to appear, what you can do is practice your technique until it is impossible for you to do it incorrectly, listen to flamenco music and song until you feel it in your bones and practice moving in compás until you have no other choice but to move in compás.
When you have all of this you will be able to listen and more importantly hear the music and cante when you dance. When you can really listen and hear the musicians you are dancing with you might experience some kind of emotion. It is through this emotion and through your movement that these small nuances will appear.
They can't be choreographed, they can't be planned. They are an organic and unique product of your personal experience at the exact moment you are dancing.
So, my advice is don't think about the way you are 'supposed to look' when you are dancing flamenco. You are supposed to look like you do now. One of the most unique things about flamenco is that you have your unique form of expression, your goal is not to dance like anyone else. Your goal is to dance like you.
Think about enriching your understanding of flamenco rhythm, music and song and practice moving your body when ever you have the opportunity.
When the time and situation is right you will find your 'nuances'.