Cultural Activity Report – A Visit To Flamenco Cante Master Workshop

I am a residence of Vienna, Georgia 31092 and I managed to attend a Flamenco Cante Master Workshop in Vienna, Virginia 22180 on December 4, 2011. The cultural activity took place at Born 2 Dance Studio in Vienna, Virginia. Being a Sunday, many people did not go to work and they managed to attend the function which was very entertaining (Perez, 2015). People travelled from as far as Philadelphia to attend the workshop. Some people had come straight from Edwin’s Sunday Matinee show at the Gala Theatre. The Flamenco Singer, who was also the guest artist at the event, was Esperanza Fernandez. The guitar was played by Behzad Habibzai. Estela Velez, the director of Furia Flamenca organized the Flamenco Cante Master Workshop (Perez, 2015). Upon arriving at the event, I was not sure of what to expect from the workshop because I had not attended a similar event before. Historically, I have associated Flamenco with the Spanish culture alone but I was surprised to see a mixture of cultures in this event-.

The two unique piece observed at the event were the instruments and the music as it was sung by Esperanza Fernandez. The guitar, specifically known as the Flamenco guitar, was the common instrument at the event. Flamenco guitar, which was played by Behzad Habibzai, consisted of six strings that gave a very high and rhythmic pitch (Chuck, 1998). Apart from the Flamenco guitar, palillos is another instrument that was used to add tonal quality to the Flamenco music. Palillos is a hand musical instrument that produces a sharp contrasting sound in a repetitive pattern. The dancers used two pair of palillos simultaneously to maintain a high pitch. Another essential rhythmic element in Flamenco music that was used at the event is the Palmas which basically refers to clapping. The musician and the dancers both used Palmas to create bits and keep a fast tempo (Perez, 2015).

Esperanza Fernandez accompanied the Flamenco song by changing styles to create mood variation. In addition, she performed both singing and dancing concurrently to keep the audience attentive and entertained. She also incorporated the Palmas component into the music as a way of maintaining nice tones. Fernandez used her songs to teach things really slow. She was audible enough and made sure that everyone got each and every word she mentioned, and even understood how she applied her words in her dancing. The instruments and the Flamenco song as performed by Esperanza Fernandez kept the Cante Master Workshop very lively (Perez, 2015).

Generally, the event was not only entertaining but teaching. The singer, guitarist and the dancers, all played their roles effectively to ensure that nobody found the event boring (Perez, 2015). All these figures demonstrated great experience in Flamenco music. From the event, I was able to learn how music can be used to preserve the cultures of different communities. Andalusia is the origin of Flamenco music and Esperanza Fernandez sung and danced at the event while maintaining the Andalusia culture. From what I observed at the event, I learnt that people who want to learn more about the culture of Andalusia can benefit greatly from Flamenco songs like those performed at the Cante Master Workshop. Therefore, Flamenco songs serve both as a preservation of Heritage of Humanity and as forms of entertainment in different environments.

 


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