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Flamenco Inesita

Inesita

Havana Bar and Restaurant

Rodolfo Ornelass and Inesita

Inesita will make an appearance as special guest artist at the Havana Bar and Restaurant  on July 6, 2019.

This will be her ninth engagement at the popular flamenco tablao in Los Angeles.

The Documentary

A report on the progress of the Documentary being prepared about Inesita and her dance career. It is being produced by Claudia Wells and directed by Calix Lewis Reneau.

We had our second shoot yesterday in my studio and it was a long six hour day of set up/ narrative, demonstration and actual dancing ( in rehearsal clothes and without music) The subject covered the structure and form of flamenco such as I presented over the years at colleges and universities in Los Angeles, New York and England. So it is a serious endeavor. Because of the scope of this project it will be many months before it is released as a film. We will resume shooting in late August. Claudia the producer is leaving on a celebrity tour and will return in late summer. Eventually I understand it will be marketed to entities such as Netflix and AMC.        Inesita with Claudia Wells, Calix Reneau and the Cameraman, Mario. during shoot.

Claudia Wells and Inesita in Inesita’s studio during second day of filming. June 3, 2019

The Magic of Flamenco

Again, we say to all lovers of dance and the special form of Flamenco. What is it that ddraws one to this art? The dances are lively and full of spiritedly tempo, but most often the songs are sad and speak of loss, regret, and the darker side of life. This creates an ambiguity which is present in all forms of art. The tensions pull in different directions in the off beating and crossing rhythms and mournful strains of the cante reflecting what is universal. In reality, the dance is not a choreography, but a series of fragments arranged together and linked with phrases to open and close each variation. This is unique which makes it possible to extend or reduce the dance. Because flamenco is unwritten, this creates the impression of being open-ended as in a endless chain of rhythm.

Flamenco Alhambra 2019

Inesita and BIll Yee after the performance May 25, 2019
Inesita and BIll Yee after the performance May 25, 2019
INESITA in Alegrias escobilla May 25, 2019
Clarita, singer and dancer with Inesita before performance May 25, 2019
Group photo of INESITA and her Ensemble
Inesita with Clarita and the Arte Flamenco Ensemble

This performance was a celebration of the first Flamenco Alhambra which made its debut in March of 2009. It is also the anniversary of my first appearance under the auspices of this series  under the direction of William Yee.

Formerly, the title of the organization had been the Center for the Visual and Performing Arts. This was later changed to Alhambra Performing Arts Center which was more appropriate. Mr, Yee decided to present these performances each year and in some instances twice a year. It made the first program in March of 2009  a special event and was received by the public with much enthusiasm.  It has been a labor of love and devoted to the dance art of Spain, moreover to the Andalusian form, Flamenco.  Come and enjoy the variety and scope of this art which is like  no other! Beauty and feelings expressed in the tensions and spontaneity of the music and movement, profundity and dynamism which it offers. Ole!

Flamenco Alhambra 2019

Inesita in her studio June 2018

INESITA will return to the stage of Sage Granada Park Methodist Church on Saturday, May 25th, 2019. Curtain 7 P.M.

The program celebrates the 10 Year Anniversary of Inesita’s first performance with Alhambra Performing Arts Center under the Artistic Direction of William Yee.

The evening will feature INESITA in six solos of her own and she will accompany on piano in a musical interlude.

Also featured are Miguel Bernal, Clarita and Ahmae, and the Arte Flamenco Ensemble with the solid support of Stamen Wetzel and Benjamin, guitarists. Enjoy the power and variety in this dance art which is like no other.   Earthy and elegant, dynamic and profound, Flamenco speaks to all human experience. Join us for this distinctive performance.

 

Passion

Inesita in final moments of Alegrias 2016

I often hear people say they are “passionate” about their work. Passion can have many connotations: intense feeling, such as love, anger, or strong emotions of all sorts. If it refers to an art and an ardent devotion to something in life which consumes the individual, then I can think of better words to describe it. If this seems too pedantic, I respectively present my thinking about the subject.

In the case of art of various disciplines, i offer a point of view. Whether one is a writer, musician, dancer, painter, actor or involved in any branch of discipline, the concentration and determination towards achieving the goal of excellence requires some degree of sacrifice. Time and energy both mental and physical must be applied. The “minute particulars” as William Blake put it. Art is not “self expression” or  a wild state of being, but focus and attention to detail.

For my part, I would substitute the word power or that feeling of mastery that comes with a difficult task realized, and the sensation of control over the work. This is the way to perfection if it is ever reached. It might be a lofty goal, but I believe that diligent study is the path to greatness.  Possibly, it remains  out of reach for most of us. However,  it is the journey that matters.

 

 

My Articles

INESITA December 2018

All of the “blogs” I have written during the past years since 2015, the year this WordPress site was initiated, have been concerned with my ongoing performance life. The only subjects were dance, music, theatrical background; my studies in Spain, Mexico, and early instruction I had in the United States.

None of the posts were written by any one else. The experiences were gleaned over the many years I worked in the field. The writings also contained references to history, mythology, structure and form. They drew upon voluminous reading of other disciplines in the arts to compliment and underline my understanding of my chosen profession. The theme is mine. A photograph I took  of my own Spanish Shawls and castanets used in my dances.

I wished to set the record straight about this so that it may clarify for anyone “stumbling” on this Website.

Thanks to all,

Inesita

 

Flamenco Shoes

ZAPATOS

The special footwear a dancer uses for the percussive element in the dance functions as an instrument in many ways. Since rhythm is especially dominant in Flamenco the aural effect must be sharp and clear. This sound was achieved in various ways, either with a hard leather heel and in the past often with castanet wood of a very sturdy kind such as ebony or pomegranate. 

The castanet wood gave a wonderful quality to the heel beats but the drawback was a occasional split in the material posing a hazard. This was especially  possible with very hard attacks of the shoe. Later all flamenco dancers relied on nail heads pounded into the heel of the shoe for a resounding crack which carried well even on poor flooring. This was a practical matter in performance.

Shoes in different styles depending on the sort of dance are worn to enhance the musical expression of drumming which it is for the most part. In the past the dance wear for women usually were confined to an attractive pump to flatter the foot and compliment the female costume. It is notable today that the dancing shoes of women often are more sturdy to emphasize powerful technique rivaling the taconeo used by male dancers. The shoes are often out of place with the beauty of the costume. The appearance is sacrificed to achieve more power and security in the work.

Like everything in art, there is constant change and the performance is altered to take on new challenges .

Since I often performed male dances myself, I wore boots in various styles to match a male costume and make it possible to use a more spectacular technique. Ankle boots and higher styles to match trousers in a campero.

Apart from Flamenco, in dancing other forms in the Spanish idiom, Ballet slippers are worn for the “slipper dancing” of Escuela Bolera. Also in the past footwear called Chapines were another style.

In past years when I performed a dance such as the stylized Intermezzo of Goyescas I wore delicate shoes to compliment the stately costuming appropriate for the choreography. 

A long time ago, a student of mine gifted me with some special heels studded with rhinestones. I later had them attached to some classic pumps I bought as a regular shoe, and then used castanet wood I had on hand to fashion the heels. The pale gold of the shoe itself was enhanced by the glitter of the heels and made a theatrical accessory to dances I did to Scarlatti which I made in the past. The images of that pair are seen in this article. An interesting history on its own! 

Inesita performing Alegrias with Clarita, cantaora, Stamen and Benjamin, Guitarists. Flamenco Alhambra October 27, 2018. Filmed by Tina Love. Cameraman: David Bradstreet.

Inesita during escobilla of Alegrias 2018

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