What a treat it was on Sunday evening to see a show by Israel Galván! This flamenco dancer has been variously called “revolutionary”, “avant garde”, and quite simply “a genius”… It was my first time to see him, and my first time to be exposed to a contemporary, if I may call it that, flamenco style. Israel was born to flamenco dancing parents, and at age 18 decided to take up flamenco professionally, and what a stir he has created in the dance world with his talent.
The brochure I was given at the Theatre described his dance as complex, with rapid-fire footwork and movement and in the show I saw it all! In the world of dance, Israel has won every possible flamenco prize there is to win, including the Giradillo prize at Seville’s flamenco biennial, the Flamenco Hoy critics’ award for best dancer of the year, which he received in both 2001 and 2005, and Spain’s national dance prize — I have to say it was a humbling experience to be in his presence, simply because to be so good one has to put intense and long practice into what one has a passion for, and that is something to be admired and appreciated always!
I’m posting a video of his, so you know what I’m talking about… OLÉ!!!
Having spent the afternoon practicing my flamenco choreography with a friend, and feeling very happy and fulfilled my mind turned to the question, ‘why do we dance?’ I know many people who, like me, just love to dance and many more who are most uncomfortable when made to or forced to dance. I, personally, feel very grateful to have grown up in a home where the performing arts were appreciated and dancing was encouraged.
On doing some research online, the best answer I found, to the question on my mind, came from the website ArtsAlive.ca. In an article there, Michael Crabb writes:
Dance & Dancing: Just Doing What Comes Naturally
By Michael Crabb
Human beings probably danced even before there was a word for it. Rhythmic bodily movement is instinctive. It connects people, even if unconsciously, to the rhythms of nature. Dance springs from a human desire for personal expression and social connection. and it feels good.
People dance for all kinds of reasons – to mourn, to celebrate, to heal, to give thanks, to preserve cultural heritage and treasured legends, to demonstrate physical prowess, to assert individuality, to provoke and to entertain.
Almost anyone can dance, regardless of age or ability. Maybe it’s the Argentinean tango, the American square dance, the Viennese waltz, an improvised riff at a club or a step or two at a family wedding. Whatever the style or situation, dancing can be fun and a great way to socialize.
I agree Mr. Crabb! Anyone can dance…it can be fun, and a great way to connect 🙂