Forget my entirely inadequate flamenco notes of the other day, which failed even to evoke Lorca's untranslatable term for the spirit of flamenco: duende, a notion (untrans. or not) of great interest to poets, of course. You can see useful clips of flamenco online, if you want. And I recommend a great NFB film called Flamenco at 5:15, a documentary about a flamenco teacher visiting the National Ballet School and turning the young dancers on to flamenco. Fascinating to watch a master teacher at work, and those fab dancers took to flamenco like a stick to moving water.
Anyway, last night I caught a couple of flamenco sets as Los Cernicalos, the oldest club in Jerez. Plain open hall, lined with photos of flamenco legends, 100 chairs, basic light and sound, leaky roof. The place was packed for a singer/guitar/clap ensemble (resembling Campbell from Mad Men, Dr. Assman from several Seinfeld episodes, and a young James Caan, respectively).
The look of the crowd reminded me of the Jazz Society crowd in Regina, who bring live jazz acts to Regina, bless their hearts, then treat the event like a concert rather than a club. Last night, it was clear that the crowd--all ages, including hot young beauties on dates (I imagine)--was ready for more than passive listening. Audience and performers alike were there for flamenco, let's say for duende--to be transported together. This was folk music alive.
Again, I don't know what the songs were saying but I could see and feel what they did. It was call and response action. I may have been the only one in the house who said nothing (except to snarl at the guy next to me who kept pulling out his phone). I remember feeling that way as a boy in Herbert standing next to a train blasting by on the CPR mainline.
I did miss the dancing, though.
This afternoon and evening: more flamenco!