Today we are going to start talking about a specific technique for the body which is known as 'quiebro'. 'Quiebro' refers to 4 different diagonal and forward or backward tilted positions of the torso.
In this introduction we will look at how to achieve the backward tilted (rear shoulder lowered) positions to the left and right.
The quiebro technique in flamenco dance is derived from the technique of 'danza española' and 'escuela bolera' and is a very specific postural position. When using these postures in flamenco you can be a little bit looser with your interpretation.
However we believe that in order to dance to your best ability and also to make sure you don't incur any unnecessary injuries of the lower back we would like to teach you the danza española quiebro technique.
First let's take a look at a few photos...
Your feet should be together in parallel, upper body is supported with a long spine. Hold your arms in first position for this exercise.
Tilt the upper torso
To understand that the tilt occurs at the waist (and not below it) tilt sideways at the waist while maintaining the position of your arms, head and shoulders. Your hips and lower body should not move at all when you tilt sideways.
Before you tilt sideways lift up even higher through your centre an keep the length through your spine in the sideways position.
If you look at the photo below you will notice that I really haven't tilted very much so don't feel the need to try any major contortion - it isn't required!
Rotate the torso
From the position above (sideways tilt) you are now going to rotate your torso at the waist by sending one shoulder to the back. As you rotate let your head turn towards the opposite shoulder (now in front) and your eyes will gaze up over your shoulder.
Your head has not moved in relation to your torso, it has moved in relation to the floor so your chin and gaze is slightly higher but you have not lifted it even more.
You'll need to concentrate even more during the rotation phase to keep your hips and lower body still and forward facing.
When you dance you would not do the sideways bend first and then rotate, you would go straight to the diagonal quiebro position you are looking for. This exercise is to help you understand where exactly the quiebro in relation to everything (upper and lower body) facing forward.
Take a look at the video below and try the quiebro for yourself!
There will be a few more parts to this technique so stay tuned for more.
Have any questions? Let us know in the comments below!