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Flamenco Inesita

Inesita

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The Zapateado del Estampio

This unique dance in its original form seems to have been lost. For whatever reason, the rhythmic structure has been confused with another dance, the Tanguillo..

Although the compas ( rhythm) is similar, these dances are very distinct in feeling and performance,

The New Season: Flamenco Alhambra Featuring Inesita and her Troupe

Inesita will return to the stage presented by APAC ( Alhambra Performing Arts Center) On Saturday, August 14th, 2021 Curtain 7PM.

Inesita Flamenco IMDb

                                      A new presence on the Internet

Several weeks ago I received a comment  on the YouTube from an individual I do not know who made a generous and very flattering statement about my work related to my appearance in Here Come the Girls starring Bob Hope. My dance was only one minute and 22 seconds long on the big screen.  This engagement was one of several movies I danced in since 1941.

I had always regarded myself as a classical dancer in the Spanish dance medium but these popular assignments were welcomed because of a wider public exposure and of course the extra income.

I had recalled I did have screen mention and was credited as the featured dancer in that big scene. I received much praise from everyone. The writer advised to have a profile and photo attached to my credit and after much thought I acquiesced to this suggestion.

I do now have that listing on IMDb along with a list of other big screen and small screen dance sequences to my name.

I am aware that to the general public, an appearance in motion pictures and on television is regarded as more illustrious than live theatre or concert performances. The serious side of the entertainment business is less thought of as a means to a wider public.

Be that this is the case; I put a lesser value on my movie career than the many concert programs I appeared in over eight decades. To my way of thinking a live performance has a quality not present in the medium of film, video and television.

In a live presentation I was able to show more variety and scope of the work and it has remained that way throughout my long career,

There are nevertheless other opinions and perspectives about the worthiness of popular exposure as opposed to the classical offering in live theater and concerts. I rest my case!

Martinete por Seguiriya

Commentary on a YouTube Reply

The, writer, Al Sad, wrote,: Inesita, you could teach Hollywood stars something about grace, class, and elegance” A great tribute to my work, Thank you!

The Announcement

An image of Inesita during her Alegrias in May of 2019, and the entire company

What is dance?

As a dancer, I have often encountered a strange conception of what dancing really is nd how one thinks of this art. Many theories have been offered to explain how one achieves mastery of a discipline that requires just as much dedication as learning to play an instrument or embarking on a course of study which demands dedication to detail and particulars.

I have been astonished to discover many students are unprepared to begin with simple technic and basic movements to train the body and mind.

The concept of beginning with fundamentals without music is an idea that does not enter into the thinking of the beginner.

Consequently, this attitude results in confusion about how to progress in the study of the work.

Much has been written about the process of acquiring knowledge in this particular art form with all its many aspects. The special methods of working in Spanish dance and Flamenco is a challenge in a very unique way,  Since the music is unwritten. It is open-ended and the dancer must lead the musicians into the dance patterns. There is no other way. This concept is difficult to understand for the unvitiated. An Andalusian flamenco singer (cantaor) Miguel Galvez with whom I worked on several occasions, told me that in Spain the song comes first. (en Espana, el cante viene primero)

The popular view is that music is the inspiration which inspires one to dance. The idea of moving with no accompaniment is foreign to someone who thinks of dance in any form. This firm belief in the efficacy of music as a support to moving in time and space seems an excepted idea.

Flamenco or its true name, Cante Jondo (deep or profound song) is based on song rhythms out of which the guitarists derive the melodies or falsetas used to accompany singers. The rhythm or compas drives the work. The dancer must put down this structure as a percussive lead or conductor of the the work. There is no other way to perform in this art. With vast experience I know this is the method.. The rhythm is the dance and melodies are subservient to the whole.

As I have written before, the score is written as the dance proceeds. Flamenco is organic.

With experience and training this concept is absorbed. Either one is exposed from early childhood to the “compas” or it is acquired through much study. This is challenging as all art is but the reward is mastery of the form.

In Spain, the performer with the special knowledge is called enterado or informed.

A New Season

On Saturday, August 14, 2021, Inesita will open the new season of performances presented by APAC ( Alhambra Performing Arts Center) under the Artistic direction of William Yee.

Inesita will bring her Company of dancers singers and musicians to the stage of the Sage Granada Park United Methodist Church,

Inesita stars in six of her solos with the collaboration of dancers, singers and musicians in a program of traditional flamenco of Andalucia. Featured are Miguel Bernal, Clarita and Ahmae supported by the music of Stamen Wetzel and Benjamin. plus the Arte Flamenco Ensemble.

The Documentary

A film devoted to the long dance career of INESITA

The project that began on May 25, 2019 was an idea of Claudia Wells, actress ( of Back to the Future fame)and business woman whom I met in 2016.

We were immediately taken with each other as women who had long careers albeit in different worlds of the entertainment industry.

Numerous ideas were germinating in Claudia’s mind to bring my work to a wider commercial public. Ideas were explored in a number of areas such as talk shows; news stories on the major networks and even plans to have makeup and hair styling done. None of these approaches came to fruition as time went on.

The 10th anniversary of my association and collaboration with APAC under the artistic direction of William Yee was an opportunity to film the performance as a starting point. This was accomplished with the permission of Mr. Yee. Only later did I discovered that the footage used was hardly a complete view of my work but merely bits and pieces that highlighted only facial expression and much time on my feet and shoes without any thought  to emphasize my technique. The date was May 25th, 2019.

On May 27th an elaborate crew with a great deal of technical equipment of cameras and lighting was set up in my home and effected an actual movie set to do an Interview with Claudia and me. All the furniture was rearranged to simulate a different scene.

 At this moment it was announced that a 90 minute feature film was to be made. No prior discussion of this was offered to me. I was not given the privilege of deciding if I had any interest in a documentary of my career and life. This seems odd and unfair to say the least! Since the die was cast, there was no turning back. Five hours was spent in this indicial session.  An interview conducted by Claudia herself and me; both of us dressed in glamorous clothes was filmed. A sequence devoted to my playing of the Harpsichord was wasted on up-close camera angles showing the inner workings of the instrument itself and little on my fingers over the keyboard. Some time was spent filming the surroundings of my property with its elaborate gardens front and back. More camera work was done in my dance studio with an explanation of my various percussion instruments such as castanets, tambourine and dance shoes; and the display of posters on the walls of past performances. Not a bad beginning, but it was only an introduction.

The following week later, another date for more footage was set up and an exhausting session of six hours ensued. I realized then that no clear plan or “script” was had. The hard work of six hours was wasted in a haphazard manner. Talk and demonstrations of the dance and a mock “lesson” was done with Claudia as the “student” which did not flatter her and seemed innocuous.

The film used did not show me to advantage and I regarded it as useless.

The following month I was booked into the Havana Bar and Restaurant for a show, (my ninth time) and the last I did. Calix Lewis Reneau became intensely interested in the event and arranged to spend the evening with Mario Colangelo and another lady assistant to film this performance.

When I announced that a small exhibit was set up at UCLA Library in connection with my Archive papers, Calix again was excited to shoot a sequence there. The staff at the Charles E. Young Research Library did not really give us permission but a day was arranged that we meet and do still another shoot.

After that we met two more times in my dance studio to film additional material of my activities. Again, the sessions lacked any specific plan or thought. Calix Lewis Reneau wanted to film me putting in a plea or “pitch” to Martin Scorsese the most prominent figure in the film world because of his early connection with the student indie film at NYU back in 1962/03 when he as the cameraman and three other young film makers became interested in my work as a “flamenco dancer” and were very eager to make a movie of my work. The original film which featured me in three dances with my own guitarist and flamenco singer ( both from Spain, was lost or discarded but “a work print” was made at the time which I had in my possession.  This was eventually uploaded onto YouTube by Robert J Siegel the director of the 9 minute film.

Mr. Siegel was and is a great fan of mine and was interviewed in New York by associates of the production team here in Los Angeles. I have the interview and it is very complementary and it is most precious to me. However Robert seems to have trouble with some of the memories in connection with the work. He relates an incident where I invited him and Scorsese to our hotel for lunch for a Spanish meal. This never happened. I know. No such event took place. My memory remains excellent.

Finally, a concert was set up at El Arte Flamenco Dance Theater in Alhambra. The date was March 14, 2020 and called ‘An evening with Inesita”. This was planned for over a year by Clarita my singer and fellow artist of many years and on the Sunday before, our company of 10 rehearsed for three hours. The weekend of the 14th fatefully saw the outbreak of the pandemic and the sellout house of 150 was reduced to perhaps 20 hardy attendants to the performance. Out of fear of infection by the deadly Covid-19 understandably the film crew also abandoned us due to  their concerns.  It was suggested that because of my advanced age that I, too. should cancel. This I found outrageous and unprofessional and something I would never contemplate.  I was furious that they expected me to do their bidding, To let everyone else down would be totally unfair.  My obligation to the rest of the company was firm.  I regarded this almost insulting and I was incensed by this idea. This does not mean I did not take the virus seriously. I took the risk knowingly. That was my prerogative.

The program was received with great success. Well wishers afterwards were eliminated as a precaution.

Even my wardrobe mistress and her husband, a film art director urged me to cancel and I flatly refused. No one was infected. I received a standing ovation after my final piece.

Following this an additional shoot was in order; and with my connection to Clarita as an artist and close friend,  the crew set up a session at the location and an all day filming session was accomplished on August 28th. A compliance officer was in attendance to ensure safety and we were all required to be tested for Covid. I was negative as was the rest of the crew. I spent an arduous day of an interview on camera and was filmed in five of my costumes doing portions of dances for camera effects. And that was it. No more was or could be done with the virus running rampant through all our lives. I survived due to my strong constitution and immune system and was successfully vaccinated twice with no illness what so ever.

At last some editing was finished and I understand it was done by assistants and not the main producers/cameramen. These were individuals whom I don’t know and don’t know me.

Some of this material is undoubtedly interesting, but the slow motion effects begin to be repetitious; besides the pace cancels out the tensions in the dance patterns. The best passages of my performance seemed to be left out and the judgment of what is exciting or distinctive in my performance is not present. Narration by me used as a voice over is over done and distracts from the actual dancing.. However one item to me is effective and should be retained. At the end of the entire film which they presented, I am heard to say “My name is INESITA and I am a Spanish Dancer”. and then I disappear behind the curtain. A dramatic and special gesture.

At this point, I don’t know what will happen with the work. The production team wishes to continue. I remain dubious whether the results will reveal or impart my personal attitude about the art I have devoted my entire life.

Time will tell.

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