Estupendo 3 hour final flamenco session with Toni today. It was so hard going, even he was shattered. He is definitely Sant Antoni!
Firstly I had to perfect some rhythmic concerns that were still troubling me in regard to the timing of the music. Particularly after the llamada step when it goes into the paso with golpe golpe golpe, planta tacon etc. as the rhythm in the music we're using changes velocity quite subtlely and quickly from very fast to slow, I'm trying to rush into this paso step unnecessarily.
Its good that I have to slow down at this point as thats the step I really struggle with, and the step that I know Toni is most concerned about in terms of my technique. It just doesn't go in when he tells me the rhythm and apparently I've been doing one less golpe stamp than I should have done, so the fact that I have to slow down at this point in the routine is good, as I may have mentioned in previous posts, because it means that I can focus on thinking with the planta and getting this technique right too.
Also the golpe stamps and accompanying arm movements need to be more forceful and have more security. Toni was clear on that! Despite being so encouraging and so patient, he's probably thinking, 'This English woman cannot dance!' I can see the frustration sometimes on his face.
After overcoming that obstacle of the timing, for creative and time constraint reasons, we agreed that we would plan the choreography to just over 2 minutes, when there's a clear break in the music. So more steps to be learned and taken in today.
It was brilliant though because we worked on my posture and how I should hold myself when doing the walking steps, worked out some beautiful braceo marcages moves, introduced more classic golpe steps and then worked on some dramatic finales!
So it felt like I had to take in loads today, and by the end of the 3 hours, I was confused by the ending of the routine I had no choice but to walk away and finalise the routine through practicing. The techniques have to be right and I want them to be right for me to produce a great performance, but mostly to save Toni's reputation!
I did feel more confident today in suggesting moves to do that could be adapted to my level and the music, and these ideas were really taken on by Toni. So its been an interesting collaboration where my confidence has grown in something that I've only been a part of for 3 weeks.
It was a shame that because of time I couldn't do the walking braceo marcages move, but there's so much to still learn and remember ow anyway. Its going to be a mad few days.
Later on in my own practice session, I was getting slightly confused with the music but as almost getting there with the timings. The thing I need is the passion and conviction still. I need to move like Amaya did in how she swayed her hips while doing the marcages moves. More studying of the video footage of her is what I'll be doing tomorrow!
Still, I'm so proud of what I've achieved today. I've worked so hard and need to keep the cold that's been going around these parts at bay so that I'm well and rest for more practice this weekend and the actual filming on Monday.
So I'm happy with the progress and where I've got to over these past few weeks, but still can't believe that today was the last day that I walked that daily weekday route from the apartment (in Sant Antoni, no less) to Carrer de Aribau for my flamenco lessons. Its been a great journey, one that's not over yet, for, and that part of it I'll always have treasured memories of, but I'll also miss.
Onto the last leg, the final furlong of this stretch of the project.