What is a Remate?

What is a remate in flamenco dance? | www.flamencobites.com

Today we are going to look at a term that you will hear referred to often in flamenco dance - 'remate'.

The term remate comes from the verb 'rematar' which means to end or to conclude.

The remate can be used to conclude a series of movements but it is also used as a step to enhance the strength of a letra or falseta - in this sense it is not a conclusion but a continuation of the music and movement.

A remate used during a verse can be placed where the singer stops for a breath, this is what students will learn when they first begin to study flamenco. As you progress you will discover that remates can be placed throughout the song while the singer is singing. However you must have great understanding of the music and phrasing of the cantaor so that your remate does not clash but rather complements the letra.

The example above is a remate for soleá and is one compás long. 

Watch the video below to see the same remate in the context of a longer combination.

José begins with a llamada then dances two compás of marcaje before the remate and then continues with another marcaje step immediately following the remate.

A typical remate will feature some kind of percussive footwork but this is not always necessary.

In the example below the remate is marked by the movement of the shoulders, the fan and a turn. The only beat marked by feet is the accent on count 10 at the end.

Here are some more examples...

Soleá por bulerías



The next time you watch a performance try to notice when the remates occur. Remember that they are different to a llamada which is the term we will cover next in this series.

If you have any questions let us know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading,

Renae & José