So today I had 2 hours practice before my lesson, which was OK, I felt as though there was more conviction in my 'Braccio' movement but still trying to get to grips with rotating the wrists in that position. Its so hard. I hear in the other room the amazing stamping of the flamenco shoes and its so advanced, so amazing, so frightening!
As I was walking to the school today, I saw a guy with a T-shirt on that said 'Decide'. I had to decide to win today, but it wasn't so easy. Because I have very little space at weekends to practice, all of the hard work from the previous week gets forgotten in some way, and also, I think there has to be a time for resting the body as well.
Watching 'Bajari' on Saturday was good as it allowed me to look at the moves of one of the most amazing flamenco dancers (Karime Amaya) and from that try to unleash my own spirit and energy to put this into what I'm practising at the moment.
There were some good points of the lesson. I have improved on the movement and sensuality of the tango I am learning, but also I am forgetting key beginners stuff that really needs work. When I come to practice, I just find I'm unable to open up and take those steps into really getting my head around committing to the steps. Like there is a fear there.
Also, when I am practising with my teacher, its like I'm embarrassed and fall apart doing the moves. I need to strip away at the ego and start understanding that this is for me and the final outcome. Its not for that person who is teaching me, though to some extent it is as well, to encourage them about their capacity and ability to pass on techniques.
But I have to remember its a lesson as well and that I'm not going to take in everything at once if I'm still focussing on the last steps that I'm not getting the space to practice.
So today, the new bit was learning some stamps to go with the Braccio movement. It was so hard to get my head around. Its still not perfected, in fact I haven't moved on with it at all. I can't seem to get in the headspace for taking in the new stuff that quickly - is it an age thing? Maybe. Toni said the best way to go about this step, (essentially when the arms move out in the circular position, the corresponding foot comes forward for planta stamp, and then when the arm comes up, the corresponding foot moves back in a golpe stamp, but both stamps very subtle and with not so much force) was to think in terms of the body being separated. There's so much to take in.
So we ended with the stamp moves and its amazing how after a few days rest the legs become tired and weak again! Toni said I still need to relax more. Hard when there's so much more to organise for this phase of the project.
We spoke at the end of the session about where this practice was all going to go in terms of the final choreography. Of course I'm being realistic and understood when Toni said he wanted to teach me something based on 'Embrujo del Fandango' which was right for my level and I totally agreed and was happy with that.
So out of the last few sessions, I think what I've learnt is not to be disappointed with a seeming failure and that you have to be realistic with these things if you're just dipping your toe in the water with them. What matters is the outcome and the essence of the final installations for the exhibition which were always going to be based upon the performance I would do.
At this stage I've also learnt that perhaps I don't spend enough time on projects. This could have easily been done over 3 months to enable me to be kinder to myself and not rush so much. That's the main thing I'll take away from this, the sense of time I need to create something, though there is also virtue in learning something very intensely in this way. Particularly how I need to get over myself and my ego and unleash my 'duende' and also, essentially how its important not to get lost in worry about the direction that things are going. Trusting things are going the right way is often the hardest thing.
So from now on its non-stop practice for me, wherever that may be. La studio, la habitacion, la career, la platja Wherever this flamenco may take me.