Canadian Poet Gerald Hill hadn’t planned on being part of the act during his visit to the flamenco show at La Caja Negra last night. “I was there to watch, that’s all,” Hill said, “though one of these years I’d like to take clapping lessons and join in.”Hill was in for more than clapping on this night. “I was standing off to the side of the stage,” he said. “I was close but not in anyone’s way. They were half-way into their first set when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned and beheld this gorgeous woman in a long red dress and I couldn’t see what else. Red shoes, I think. She smiled, I froze. Next thing I know, she’s taken my hand and is leading me onto the stage.”
Hill protested gamely, but now the audience, sensing the occasion, offered its encouragement with cries of olé and amigo and other calls Hill later translated as yes, let the flatcap dance.
The guitarist sounded a flourish, and the dance, an alegria, began. “Talk about terror,” Hill said. “I was out of whack from stopping at the jazz club on the way over. I could barely budge my blundstones. I think I moved my arms a little and snapped my fingers once or twice.”
How long did his turn on stage last? “Anywhere from two seconds to an hour and a half,” Hill said. “But I’ll tell you what, the audience seemed to enjoy it.”
As for his own enjoyment level, Hill would say only, “They were the artists. I was the April Fool.”