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Flamenco Inesita

Inesita

Upcoming Events

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Inesita and William Yee, Artistic Director of APAC (Alhambra Performing Arts Center) in a meeting at the home of Inesita to discuss the upcoming Performance on Saturday, March 18, 2017

The next performance featuring INESITA and her Flamenco Ensemble will be Saturday, October 21, 2017. Curtain will be 7 P.M. It will be again presented by APAC in Alhambra California. Artistic Director, William Yee. Details to be announced . The new title will be ARTE FLAMENCO.

For her 9th Season at the Alhambra Performing Arts Center, INESITA will bring her distinctive Flamenco concert to the Sage Granada Methodist Church under the direction of William Yee.

UNESCO has declared Flamenco to be an “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity”

Inesita’s presentation of Flamenco (Cante Jondo) embodies this idea, because of the universality of Flamenco’s musical structure. An expression of the people, it carries a message of the life force in its driving rhythms (compas) and tensions. The earthiness, elegance, strong tradition in Flamenco and its emotional content relates to all of us.

The performance will feature Miguel Bernal, brilliant dancer/ singer, Clarita, charismatic singer and dancer, as well as exciting numbers by flamenco dancers La Nubia and Jani Quintero plus the solid guitar collaboration of Stamen Wetzel and Benjamin.

Inesita will offer six dance solos of her own and participate as pianist in a musical interlude with the guitarists.

Curtain is 7 P.m. and admission is Free. Donations accepted during intermission.

 

Inesita 2013
Inesita 2013
_Inesita in a moment of Solea March 19, 2016
Inesita in a moment of Solea March 19. 2016
Featured post

Fandango de Huelva March 18, 2017 Inesita . Clarita, singer, dancers La Nubia and Jani Quintero, Stamen Wetzel, Benjamin, guitarists. Filmed by Tina Love

Inesita in Solea with Clarita, cantaora, Stamen Wetzel, Benjamin, guitarists. March 18, 2017. Videotaped by Tina Love.

Zapateado del Estampio

 

Filmed by Tina Love March 18, 2017

Inesita in Alegrias de Cadiz March 18, 2017 Videotaped by Tina Love

What is Flamenco?

Inesita dancing on a 3 by 3 oak floor in a lecture-demo 2002

What is Flamenco?

Having spent decades as a performer in this unique dance form, I offer a perspective on its essence. The word flamenco is an odd choice to designate an art which is distinctly Spanish and more specifically of Andalucía . There have been a number of explanations why a word which means Flemish in Spanish is associated with the form of dance, music, and song recognized as the exciting, flamboyant, mysterious display of technical skill it is.

One example given is the elaborate dress of Flemish courtiers during the reign of Carlos I. It was adopted and connected with the Andalusian Gypsies during this era. However this came about, it is now ingrained in the public perception.

The true name of flamenco art is: Cante Jondo: Deep or profound song. I have often heard “En España el cante viene primero”. “In Spain the song comes first” This is true in a musical sense since the guitarist’s chords which are used to accompany singing are the basis for the tunes or melodies (falsetas) which develop from the chord structure. The rhythms or compás which are attached to the melodies drive the work. Moreover, flamenco is not Western music but Eastern in origin. As such Eastern scales tend to have a falling cadence. The tones are close together creating  dissonance and ambiguity.  This presents a mournful and melancholy feeling, whereas Western musical tones have a tendency to rise and give a different impression.  

Without question much has evolved over many decades. The incorporation of different chords such as jazz and other musical influences have changed the texture of performance and the entire presentation of what is seen today. Some are displeased with this but as in everything else in culture, whether language, fashion, life styles or advances in all manifestations of art, new ideas are presented.  Forward thinking is inevitable. I personally have altered my material as the years pass to bring it into the present.

Flamenco has always possessed a strong tradition and a rich vocabulary. Out of this material, develop interpretation and much variation. The dance has a character which is not duplicated in any other dance style. Unlike other techniques the dance turns in upon itself and is held taut to the body. A kind of stillness which can be eloquent is part of the language of forms.  This explains why one can perform movements in a very small space and still convey feeling. The tensions, kinetic urgency, and focus, are central to the form. Articulation, attack and nuance, all attributes one expects in a musical performance. Each performer colors this with his or her own personality.

Above all, flamenco is a musical art. Because of the methodology in the system and the reality that it is an unwritten, open-ended form, the dancer functions as a musician to conduct and ring the changes from one variation to the next. We know the guitarists gaze never leaves the dancer. The feet making intricate patterns, arms accenting movement, all is rhythm which dominates throughout a performance. The cantaor (singer) too, must obey the force of the compás. And the guitarist is watchful throughout. The collaboration and interplay of the elements of song, guitar and dance is demanding, not to mention the addition of hand clapping or palmas and other percussion added to the score. Since all is non-verbal and without notation, it creates the power we see and accounts for its popularity today as never before.

Without rhythm there is no music, therefore it is mathematical.  Flamenco is organic. The end of one variation opens the door on the next into infinitude.

 

 

Castanets

Inesita with castanets c.1948
Dwarf Dancing with castanets Ancient Greece First Century BC
Inesita demonstrating dancing with castanets 2002
An image of Inesita in a castanet pose c 1947
A later photo from a shoot in London, England in a theater costume. c. 1960
Another more recent image of Inesita from 2000.

Castanets

Those four little pieces of wood! How mysterious and secret they are to anyone who has never held them in their hands! At the first sound of their sonorous peal, there is a fascination not felt with any other percussive instrument. It is difficult to fathom how they convey such power!

At first, the uninitiated places them on the middle finger of the hand and rattles them to try to understand how they can achieve that special quality.

Very often, someone will try to learn in a very short time. It can’t be done.

The minute movements of the fingers have a special action which requires concentrated study and fierce focus to learn.

There are dances in  Northern Spain in which  dancers of Aragon, Castile, and Navarre and other provinces of the Iberian Peninsula use the castanets on the middle finger and a resounding clap is produced in a quite different technique. And it is surprisingly effective for the demands of this kind of vocabulary and music.

But the Andalusian , the virtuoso, attaches the cords of the castanets on the thumb where it is anchored in a double loop freeing  the four fingers of the right hand to operate and slide over In succession from the small finger to each in turn to make a roll.The right hand performs the roll and the left maintains the beat with only the middle finger. This has to be reversed in the case of a left-handed player! I should mention that the instruments are tuned so the bass, macho (left hand) is one third of a tone lower.  The right hand (hembra) has the higher voice. Coordination between the two hands is achieved with much practice.

Herein lies  difficulty to train ligaments and tendons of the hand to play upon the open castanet. But this is function and not yet art.

I began the study of these small miracles at age 14. These were the first lessons. The effort of beginning to manipulate them  took several weeks. Gradually, the ability to play a rhythm in a simple 4/4  or 3/4  count becomes a part of the brain and one proceeds to the next stage.

Now the arms must move with the music and in time and castanets become an accompaniment.

Castanets (pallilos ) have a well known history extending back to Ancient Greece and Egypt. So I won’t elaborate on the subject. There is a fascinating bronze from this early period of a buffoon dwarf dancing with castanets! 

In a previous post, I related my early experience and study with a teacher who had a fine castanet technique and I learned a great deal. After time I was able to handle their role with confidence. Learning to dance, move the arms and master the complicated and sophisticated vocabulary of  Spanish dance was not easy, but being young it was possible and after a year of using plastic castanets I acquired a fine pair of professional castanets and moved to  the next level. When I was offered a chance to study with José Fernandez at no cost, I was overjoyed to be given this opportunity to learn an approach that I had not anticipated before. Castanets must be scored as an instrument to function as another voice in the musical matrix. It is more than underlining the rhythm but carving out a part of their own as an element of the whole.

My castanets playing made such an impression, that a friend and mentor, Raquel Rojas, the dancer, actress and writer who encouraged me in my earliest endeavors wanted to borrow my palillos to use in an engagement!! I was flattered and stunned that my  castanets would now perform in effect on their own in another’s hands!  The rich history of the castanets in the career of Antonia Mercé, La Argentina, and her superb mastery of the castanets as a real musical instrument is well known. I was honored to have the opportunity to record my castanet playing with piano accompaniment on Period Records in 1954 when I was concertizing on the East Coast.  I dedicated the disk to Antonia Mercé’s memory. The music I selected for the assignment was based on some compositions by Albeniz, Turina, Malats, and Valverde. These dances were specialties of Antonia Mercé. I had learned these works from my first teachers and had perfected them to the point of performing them in earlier appearances. Essentially they were theater or stylized dances which lent themselves well to a castanet score. The Escuela Bolera  (School Dance) always featured castanets. They were the true “classic” fundamentals of the Spanish dance.  The vinyl disk was advertised as INESITA and distributed all over the world. It was prominently displayed in  Sam Goody’s, a well known music store on Broadway!

Strangely, the management of the  Record Company issued the flamenco repertoire  on side one which I recorded with Juan Martinez as guitarist for the flamenco dances.  Perhaps they perceived the flamenco as more appealing to the general public. I considered the castanets superior to the flamenco work at the time, but had no control over the release of the material.

Juan Martinez was a dancer as well as a competent guitarist who appeared with La Argentina during her tours. This is mostly forgotten history!

Flamenco dance, song and guitar music does not usually  lend itself well to castanet playing as the use of palmas, pitos and the cajon dominate the performances. The rhythms contain  a rich tapestry of off-beating and crossing tempos which are best manifested in complicated hand clapping and heel beats.  Flamenco has a distinct construction  which stems from the song forms and demands an aesthetic contrary to written music. The composers of Spain offered great beauty of harmonies as well as  rhythmic qualities in an impressionistic manner. Flamenco as an earthy form has a tension not found in the formal music of these composers. Nevertheless their scope has attributes lacking in  “cante jondo “.  The complexity of the flamenco idiom is astonishing and the past is swallowed up in new ideas and I regard it as natural. Everything evolves. Originally, the castanets were a feminine aspect and male dancers frequently ignored them. Nevertheless, there are many fine castanet players among male artists today and I applaud this. The gitanos, tended to regard castanets as associated with the aristocracy. So their use was avoided in favor of the more spectacular display of hand clapping and finger snapping at which they excelled.  I also discovered that in the Domenico Scarlatti Sonatas of which I have written, the music is so rich that most of this music needs no percussive addition. 

In my view, castanets are very special. They can shout or whisper; murmur and speak to us in a language all their own. Palillos! Like nothing else!

Inesita in Martinete por Seguiriya March 18, 2017 Flamenco Alhambra

Performance!

Inesita in Alegrias March 19, 2017

Flamenco Alhambra March 18, 2017

All is in readiness.

Practice and planning, rehearsals, lists, the moment is drawing near. Anxiety, anticipation, exhilaration.

Bill Yee is finishing his introductory remarks. He commands the audience to shout Ole three times. They obey. The mind focused. The curtain opens.

I sit straight in the chair, Stamen at my right. I begin the castanet’s dry commentary and the guitars follow. I rise slowly from the chair which has been draped in a black mantilla from some long forgotten past and move into the dance. The music is over-amplified and there is distortion. As the initial falseta resolves into the ending remate, Clarita bursts into the first verse of the song and we dance, the three of us La nubia, Jani, and I. We move together into the heart of the Fandango. It finishes as the curtain slowly closes while the dance goes on.

Back to the dressing room to change quickly as if in a dream and the program goes inexorably on. I wait in the wings and we are thrust into Alegrias as if into another realm. One variation into another interspersed with song piercing the music and finally into the naked pulse of the rhythm. The momentum continues until the wild tempo of Bulerias hits the climax and I exit into the wings. I change and I am another character in the parade of dances.

Interrmission, and a breath of rest.

Half done. I sit at the piano. Calmer now as I play to accompany the guitars. Sevillana, Solea. Clarita joins us and she plays her castanets as the vivid Panaderos de la Flamenca enlivens the music and the percussive chords and arpeggios of this most Spanish of dances.

Time moves and we dwell in the last of this journey. The sober Farruca I dance is a foreshadowing of what is to come. At last, I don the black falda with the cola, the accessories  and the manton, the red corals for my ears, the russet high “peineta” a long ago gift from my friend Margarita Silva, opera star of the 1920’s. I am ready.

The curtain parts again and I begin marking of the Seguiriya compas. Guitars join in and I turn my body to beat an obligato on arms and hips to send the rhythm forward. I signal for the Martinete and the anvil responds to the hypnotic insistent sound of time. Clarita sings Martinete from the depths of her being of endless sorrow. From that comes an answer. The compas is transferred to the feet as they make a dance that repeats the feeling in the song. We are locked into the rhythm and cannot escape. The dance moves into the second verse of the Seguiriya and reaches the heart. I lean back as if in a vise of tension. At last the ending approaches. I beat out with my feet an answer. The rhythm adventures into a labyrinth of conflicting emphasis and finally works through to the steady, ruthless stamps to climax and stops abruptly in stillness. The castanets begin the compas and the anvil strikes. Clarita begins the wail and howl of the “tona”. I rotate in place winding in the dress as it wraps my legs in a tight embrace. The song and  anvil continues in an endless chain. The curtain slowly closes. Done!

All that remains now is to dance and frolic at last to chase the melancholy and tragic mood with the Dionysian wildness of Bulerias!

The Curtain is closed. Over.

Dromena;  the thing done. The ancient Greek word for drama. The action in the dance is drama. Now the world is reborn in the Spring!

The curtain will open again.  I promise.

Continuum

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Inesita backstage at the Havana 2015
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Another image of Inesita at the Havana  February 4, 2017
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Inesita in Sevillanas at Havana 2017
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Inesita beginning Alegrias at Havana with El Miguelito on the guitar 2014
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Inesita and Rudy Ornelas 2017
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Inesita in Alegrias 2015 Flamenco Alhambra

Continuum

After a lifetime in the entertainment world, in every possible venue from “joints” to the concert halls of Europe and United States, there is a long chapter related to my ongoing performing experience.

Following the death of my husband in 1999, I was alone. And on my own. I remained devoted and dedicated to dance and music. The particular significant forms of the Spanish dance idiom are inspiring and I never tired of exploring the music and endless possibilities for expression. This is not to say “self expression”. The presentational character of this form of music, dance and song shows deep feelings which are called up from within and reveal new aspects in a constant stream of experience.

Sometime later, I decided to take a chance and call a musician friend, Patrick Lindley, with whom I had the pleasure of working in a concert in 1988. That was an occasion at California State University at Los Angeles where he taught on the faculty. Lindley is a marvelous harpsichordist and pianist as well as a gifted composer. I left a message on his phone telling him of Bernard’s passing asking him to call if he wished. He responded soon after, and we talked. I told him of my continued work with the Scarlatti dances and invited him to come to my home to see my work. We had a very nice visit. When I showed four of my new dances he was wildly enthusiastic. With this reaction, I took courage and asked him about the Harpsichord Center and the obvious connection to the Harpsichord and Baroque music. He took this suggestion and said he would speak to the director of the Southern California Baroque Association, Wm. Neil Roberts.

Some weeks later I heard from Patrick. He told me that the Association wanted some of my photos. (I guessed they were in doubt about my appearance given the longevity of my dance career.) I quickly sent some color shots taken by a student of mine not long before which actually were quite good.

However, months passed and I thought the matter was dropped.

I called Patrick once more and was elated to hear  that the Association would present me in 2001 in two concerts!! Why wasn’t I notified? Perhaps they wanted to reserve the right to cancel. This seemed strange.

It was an enormous lift to my spirits and I danced for joy around the room! Of course, it was far off (this was in 2000, several months after Bernard died). I had negotiated a prestigious engagement by my own strength and a chance to renew my dance career!

During this time, I was rehearsing with Stamen Wetzel, a gifted guitarist I had known for years. We renewed our friendship and I practiced with him for months. The program I presented for the Harpsichord Center featured the Scarlatti material accompanied on the harpsichord by Patrick. I did not want to include flamenco at the time as it seemed irrelevant. (In a return engagement in 2005 I did feature two flamenco dances with guitar to bring out the relationship of Scarlatti’s music to the Andalusian forms.)

The concerts of 2001 were sold out. The venues at the Brentwood Contrapuntal Recital Hall and the Church in Pasadena were very well attended. In the whole time spent preparing for the performances no mention of compensation was offered. No contract, no conversation, no handshake to finalize the agreement between us. Towards the fall of 2000 I did receive a Brochure from the Southern California Baroque Association with my pictures and mention of my coming concerts. (Patrick informed me they wanted to have some new photos.) I had some  professional photographs made in early January of 2000.

In May of 2001 the two programs were received with marvelous comments and I was satisfied that artistically it had evolved into another phase of my life work. There was a reception afterwards at the Brentwood Contrapuntal Recital  Hall where the Association gave their concert series. Neil Roberts handed me a small piece of paper right there which was a $500 Check! I was astonished they were so non-communicative about the entire situation. This represented a triumph for the art and business matters.

In 2002 I was introduced to a lady who conducted interesting salons at her magnificent home in Pasadena. These presentations were lectures of various topics offered to a discriminating public. The contact was arranged through my long time student Miguel Bernal who knew of the lecture material my husband and I worked on. He rightly guessed that this kind of presentation would appeal to Carol Soucek King, the founder of this organization, The Institute of Philosophy & the Arts. When I met her at one of the Salons, and said one word- “metaphor” she immediately offered me a date to present my program.

It was extremely successful as a lecture-demonstration in full costume and accompanied by Stamen on the guitar. I  performed several dances on my small three by three feet oak floor set in the large living room. There was no monetary compensation for my work, but several repercussions of value came out of the event.

 

 

Inesita at her Harpsichord
Inesita at her Harpsichord

Following the first Scarlatti concerts I became interested in learning to play the Harpsichord myself. (I had been classically trained on the piano from age five and studied that instrument for ten years.) I acquired a small spinet, a modest instrument and persuaded Neil Roberts to tutor me. I spent eight wonderful years learning the niceties of this instrument which has enriched my life and artistic vision. Neil Roberts passed away in 2011. It was a great loss. A few years into my study, I traded in the tiny spinet for a small Flemish single harpsichord with three registers which has more musical quality.

My story continues with an appearance again on stage. Miguel Bernal, who had spent close to ten years studying with me since age 14, asked me to be invited guest at a popular Flamenco restaurant in Carlsbad near San Diego where he was performing. I made two appearances at the Casa Sevilla doing Alegrias in the November show and Farruca and my Solea in a New Years’ gig at the end of 2002. It was an exciting end to this period.

Following this restaurant show, I heard from a former student of mine, Coral, who had formed a company in Las Vegas where she lived. She was planning a concert with her troupe and asked if I was interested in appearing as Guest Artist. Included in the contract were workshops of the Escuela Bolera to train for the performance of a selected pair of Escuela Bolera dances. We agreed and confirmed a fee and date. It was decided to use Seguidillas Manchegas and the Boleras Sevillanas. I flew to Las Vegas in November of 2003 and spent a weekend as a guest in Coral’s home. I conducted some classes in the Escuela dances and was able to train several dancers in the troupe to do the steps. Coral wanted me to perform my Scarlatti dances as she knew a pianist who was skilled at Harpsichord, Cynthia Harris. Cynthia came to Los Angeles to rehearse with me on the two Scarlatti Sonatas I chose to perform. She was excellent. I flew again to Vegas in January of 2004 and spent days rehearsing with the troupe, the guitarist and Cynthia. It was a pleasant experience. Coral was very fair to me and I was able to realize several hundred dollars out of it and a video. Though not professional, this served as a record of the dances I did. I also performed a Solea with guitar and some Bulerias cambios in the final scene. The members of Coral’s company were extremely gracious and respectful to me and my dance. A fine comment of my work appeared in a review by a critic in a Las Vegas show business publication.

In the previous year of 2001 I did visit Tucson, Arizona and spent a few days with my first cousin, Walter Parnes who arranged for me to dance at a Private Club with a guitarist he sent for from Scottsdale. This experience turned out rather disappointing as a video was made but inadvertently destroyed. The audience was enthusiastic and the guitarist impressed with “my power”.

I also did a party appearance for a friend in Encino as a favor and for this I asked a fee for the guitarist (Stamen Wetzel) and requested a donation. I wanted to stay in the “loop”.

In the months following the Las Vegas gig, Neil Roberts asked me to do a return engagement for SBCA and a date was set for February 2005.

At a lecture-performance of a keyboardist, at the Harpsichord Center in December of 2004, I met a lady, by the name of Mary Hannon who published a Newsletter for pianists and keyboardists titled PianoForte. We had an interesting conversation about my Scarlatti dances and the upcoming engagement with the Harpsichord center. She attended my concert in February of 2005 at the Art Center in Eagle Rock presented again by the SCBA and it was very well received. This time I had in addition to Patrick Lindley the guitar accompaniment of Stamen for two flamenco dances, the Solea and the Estampio Zapateado. Both performances were well attended. I was given $1200 to cover my fee and expenses. It was fair and this return engagement was another success. Mary Hannon interviewed me for her Piano Forte Newsletter and it appeared later in an issue of 2005. The article was a discussion of my work with the Scarlatti Sonatas as dance material and my studies on the Harpsichord.

The next four years were fallow. I was rehearsing often with Stamen and colleagues and I was in contact with other guitarists and a singer, Miguel de Malaga, with whom I had worked in past years. During 2002, I called a dancer/actress friend I knew for years and she put me in touch with an acquaintance who helped me learn to use a computer. I had desired to own a computer and the knowledge to use it for professional reasons. I met with him and with his advice acquired a laptop and spent months learning a new language. My involvement with the Internet resulted in my own Website online and the ability to research important topics related to my profession. With this help I was able to organize and edit at last all the flamenco material Bernard and I worked on during the 1960’s and beyond concerning the structure and form of flamenco. In addition, the laptop gave me a  tool to use the Internet for contacts and promotion.

Those years from 2005 to 2009 were productive but I missed performing in public. In late 2008, I was contacted by a friend of mine who asked if I would be interested in appearing in a flamenco attraction she was producing for an organization in Alhambra. A concert series had been established in 2006 by William Yee who had an artistic background as well as business experience. I expressed interest and we went ahead. The focus of the presentation was to be the dancer and singer Yvette Garcia and her group. Also engaged was a modern and ballet dancer, Albertossy Espinoza who had some training in Spanish dance. Yvette had her guitarist plus her husband who did sing flamenco. I engaged Stamen to play for me and it was agreed that each artist was to receive an honorarium of $130.

It was a lot of planning and labor to produce this event, but finally we put on the show and it was a rousing success to our great surprise. The hall of 200 seats was packed and everyone was pleased I had a “following”. At the end of the program it was arranged to have the entire cast dance into the audience. I was immediately  surrounded  by a number of friends and fans some of whom I did not know but appeared to remember me from years ago.

This venture encouraged Mary Hannon who had developed an interest in my work. Soon she approached Stamen and me to present a program which she would sponsor in a modest way. Meanwhile, she had met a pianist, Neil Galanter, a brilliant musician who specialized in Spanish music and Mary arranged for us to meet in my studio and see some of my work with Stamen. At last a suitable venue was found at a Woman’s Club in South Pasadena. A date was set for a concert with the pianist, Neil Galanter, Stamen, and a guitarist friend of Neil’s who played in a classical style. I included some of the stylized dances in my repertoire. Employing a pianist for the first time since 1963, added a different format.

First, we did a program for the Club itself and were paid a small fee. About two week later an afternoon program was performed with a more elaborate performance and surprisingly we drew good attendance and made a bit of money. On the side, I contacted Bill Yee of the Center for the Visual and Performing Arts. I had invited Mary to attend a flamenco concert by another dancer who was very good. This was also produced by my student and they had about half a house. During intermission, Mr. Yee approached me and spoke of my “fame” and asked me to email him. I subsequently did this with the idea to ask if he would present us. Bill spoke to me of his interest in presenting me as the headliner and as “Flamenco diva”.

After much discussion I decided to take Bill Yee’s offer and appear in my one woman show. A date was agreed upon for September 18, 2010, and I performed with Stamen and Benjamin, another guitarist friend of many years and the cantaor, Miguel de Malaga. We had a successful program with about half a house and I made expenses and a bit over. This helped to boost my reputation due to the Internet which picks up every morsel of data about everyone. There seemed to be no end to the stream of information that was generated  by these last three appearances. I performed seven dances and the guitarists played duets and Miguel a song solo. The audience gave us an ovation. A resulting follow-up was a Lester Horton Life Time Achievement Award presented by the Dance Resource Center.

In 2011, Mary Hannon offered to present Neil Galanter, Ryan, the young guitarist friend of Neil’s, Miguel de Malaga, Stamen and Benjamin with me. A small theater was rented, the Secret Rose in North Hollywood, and I agreed to take equal billing to Neil under the circumstances. We had a full house. It was a loss financially for me but the concert was a success. The proceeds were split between Neil and me.

With this flurry of exposure, I renewed contact with Bill Yee, and he was eager to set up a sequel to the original “Flamenco Alhambra” in 2012. (He had followed up his email to me directly after the solo program in 2010  suggesting I invite other dancers to present a company with my role as dancer/producer.) I agreed to this idea and finally recruited a cast of 12 to present in 2012. This entailed a great deal of work apart from dancing, but in the end, we had a full house, and a smooth performance. It was my first foray into organizing a Company, but it worked rather well, despite it being my first attempt.

After this success, Bill projected another Flamenco Alhambra, and the 2013 version was accomplished not without some worry and the sad and sudden passing of our flamenco cantaor, Miguel de Malaga. This time, Bill advertised free admission with “Donations accepted” and the hall was overflowing! It was such an attraction that people were turned away with standing room only. During the rehearsal and the actual show, we were being photographed by a young photo-journalist who asked to shoot the activities.   His name was Jaime Zapata from Bogota, Colombia. He was a student at El Camino College in Southern California. This project was a class assignment for photo-journalism and he was looking for “an interesting person” as a subject to use in the assignment. He spent about ten hours at the venue in Alhambra taking over 100 pictures of our preparations and the dancing. It was very well done.

 Another program was presented in October of 2013. A new performance was also scheduled for 2014.

Now as I see ahead to another season of performing, I cannot help but look inward at the many influences which drove me on. At the same time, ghosts stir in my mind as I think of friends who have passed on. Looking backward and forward at the same moment! This is a true metaphor for flamenco itself. With music that is not written and exists only as a mental and physical memory, there is constant renewal; we do connect the past and the future all in the same instant by the unique structure of this form!

As an update, the October 19, 2013 show was an artistic success, with some people saying it was the best so far. The first in 2012 had more material and variety in the presentation. However, opinions differ.

A new Flamenco Alhambra was set for June of 2014 and a poster was seen on the CVPA Webpage. During 2014, some flamenco friends invited me to be Guest Artist at a small venue known as the Havana Club Bar and Restaurant in El Monte, where flamenco dance and song is presented. I could not refuse. So there I am again back at the beginning. What goes around comes around!

The first and most gratifying development of 2014 was the registration of the “Mystery of Flamenco”, an edited and compiled work which I assembled and submitted to the Library of Congress. After some months, I was finally contacted by the Literary specialist, initially by a long email and finally by two phone calls. He asked that I authorize him to name an original author of the concept and credit myself for editing and compiling the text. I immediately agreed and I would receive confirmation within weeks that the work is registered and copyrighted with the Library of Congress! A triumph for this final task and a tribute to the enormous effort both my husband and I made to put flamenco in perspective. The Certificate of Registration was received in the mail not later than two weeks following my conversation with the Literary Specialist. The copyright from the Library of Congress states my legal name and my pseudonym of Inesita as the author and editor of the text and credits me with the compiling of the material in its final form. The specialist commented that the work was very interesting.

The appearance at the Havana in El Monte was stimulating and refreshing due to the intimacy of the tiny tavern—a bar and restaurant specializing in Cuban food. The audience reaction warmed me and everyone was respectful and gracious. Perhaps this is because of my long running performance resume. Without a doubt, it was a happy moment at this late stage of my career. Pure flamenco belongs in this sort of ambiance.

I was asked back to appear again as guest and performed in October of 2014 as well and in a return engagement in March of 2015. Still another was performed in 2016 and another projected for 2017.

Another expression in Alegrias of Inesita

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