Originally published October 30, 2009
I often look at the world and wonder why we have so many differences that cause a lot of hardships and wars. Often, we see that in certain families that do not get along, they are constantly fighting with each other and truly wanting to hurt one another. One day, a total stranger/group starts attacking the family, and all of a sudden the family comes together to protect itself.
What do you think would happen if a different world would attack our mother earth? Do you really think that we would still be fighting amongst ourselves? There is no way. Our differences in color, culture, religion, gender, and other types of differences would just disappear in a matter of seconds.
By seeing ourselves as a unit, we would be stronger than ever. This is why in the above examples, they have come together. This is just to be stronger. One person can only do so much, but many people with the same goal can change the world.
Quantum physicists have now discovered that the belief of thinking that we are separate from one another is the main reason for all of our troubles, and we can definitely see this in the above examples.
You might ask what does that have to do with Flamenco? Well, it has a lot to do with Flamenco. Flamenco and all dance schools in general are working so independently from one another that it causes every one of them to be smaller than they could be. In contrast to sport for example, each sport focuses on the ultimate nirvana – whether it is to make it to the NHL (www.nhl.com ), the CFL (www.cfl.ca ), the NFL (www.nfl.com ), the NBA (www.nba.com ), the MLB (www.mlb.com ), or the Olympics (www.olympic.org ), the focus is one huge major achievement, and every training is geared toward that. Note that, it does not matter which school/club each athlete came from, but what matters is how they are prepared to reach their ultimate potential. Also each school/club’s purpose is to help every individual to be as best prepared as they could. What if we could adopt the same thing in dance/art? Can you imagine how many great artists would come out of this way of thinking?
Being in the flamenco scene, I often hear how many other artists are criticized, by other flamenco artists. However, what they don’t realize is that every critic is killing everything about flamenco. For example, in the mid 90s, there were so many criticisms about the Gypsy Kings (www.gipsykings.com ). Many comments were saying that the Gipsy Kings are not true Flamenco and so on. What many critics have failed to realize is that in the time that Gipsy Kings were at their peak, every Flamenco school had an influx of new students interested in Flamenco. Think about that for a second. What we often criticize is sometimes the only thing that helps us survive. We have to stop killing the messenger.
Here are a few things that can help us grow our great flamenco family:
• Encourage every person/group/school that is doing something Flamenco, in fact in any art, even if you don’t think they are good enough. Because being good enough is just a matter of certain awareness. The more aware you are, the more you will need to see something extraordinary to impress you.
• Let’s come together for FLAMENCO – forget about the differences between our schools and teachers.
• Every time someone says the word Flamenco, tell them about all the schools that they could study from. Let them figure out, who is good for them.
• We must see ourselves as one unit, and if everyone talks positively about this art, more and more people will be willing to give it a try. No one wants to be part of an environment that is not positive.
If we do all this, here is what I predict will happen:
1- More people will enter the flamenco schools in dance, guitar, singing, and percussion. Therefore, many of our teachers will have way more students.
2- More guitarists and singers will transit from another aspect of guitar to Flamenco guitar. Therefore, more dancers will be able to work with guitarists and singers.
3- More restaurants will be willing to have Flamenco music and dance in their restaurants. Therefore, new people will be exposed to this art form.
4- With more people in the schools, the teachers will make more money, and will be able to provide a better service to their students. One aspect of that would be to have live guitar and singing in all classes.
5- More flamenco retailers will enter the market. Therefore, everyone will have choices as to what and where to get shoes, skirts, and other stuff.
6- New schools will form, after all students should never remain students forever. They too must learn to pass on knowledge. Therefore, more and more people will enter flamenco.
7- More studios will be built to accommodate flamenco. Therefore, the students will have more choices as to where to train and practice.
8- The best flamenco artists in the world will love to come here. Therefore, we will continue to be inspired by these incredible artists, and this inspiration will excite our own creative juices. In time, we will have many more amazing performances by our artists.
9- Local flamencos will get together often to have fun to experience flamenco the way it should be. Therefore, a deeper meaning of the art form here will be created.
10- And so on, and on, and on…
Only positive things can come out of all of this. Do you think I am dreaming? Maybe you are right. I am dreaming, but it is only by dreaming one can help change a current reality.
Thank you again for reading my blog.
Executive Producer – www.torontoflamencofestival.com