Flamenco Inesita



Now that the August 14th , 2021 Event is part of history, it is time to have a “post mortem” as it were to evaluate the worth of attempting such an arduous task in the face of so many problems.

It is no secret that I have reached the astonishing age of 100 years; a state that I neither hoped for nor desired or expected!

For this reason and others I could enumerate, I found the idea of performing an act requiring great courage on my part to attempt.

The truth that it was accomplished with no serious consequences is both gratifying and stunning.

The attendance was excellent and the public was eager to come and enjoy a live performance after a long shutdown due to the pandemic.

They were rewarded with a program of Flamenco dance song and music with great variety and scope. At the conclusion of the show, we received a standing ovation.

As for myself, I had many criticisms of my own work due to stress, much rehearsing and attention to myriad details. Essentially I was my own producer, arranging the program and stage directions, and writing biographical material, planning stage decoration, and general organization and promotion.

To relate that this is tiring is an understatement and resulted in the draining of energy left to realize the actual performance.

In retrospect, I am pleased that this project was accomplished despite dire warnings about the perils of the pandemic, the risk to my own health, or to the public. As Shakespeare, put it “All’s Well that ends Well”

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,

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!

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.

Flamenco; The Enduring Art of Inesita A Documentary Film by Tina Love (2016)

Inesita performing Zapateado del Estampio c. 2017

The Role of Woman in Flamenco



Thoughts on the concept of the woman dancing in Flamenco

It is not my custom or desire to comment on world events. I am a person of the theater and remain apart from ideological and political matters. In this one instance I see a parallel to the art to which I have devoted most of my existence.

In the world of events over the last year, I am caught up in a preponderance of conflicting ideas and forces changing the way we live. A disastrous pandemic and political upheaval I have never seen in my lifetime.

I remain liberal in my outlook on the global scene although never progressive or extreme in any sense of the word.

As an artist who has performed in other parts of the globe and have friends of numerous other nationalities and races I consider myself “a citizen of the world.”

To focus on the particular point in this subject, having known Spain and its culture, I found that in most cases, the woman in family life is very strong. I would call it a matriarchal society. This seems to permeate the psyche of the population and I have noted evidence of this.

Waldo Frank, a writer of the 1920’s,  an American, but highly versed in Hispanic Culture wrote about the Spanish speaking world. In his book, “Virgin Spain” (1926) his chapters on the Andalusian Dance and its practitioners, he brings out some facets of this idea.

His writing approach is poetic and symphonic. In descriptions of the performers. I think he saw the essence of the work which we refer to as flamenco. Without writing about the structure or form, his summation of a woman dancing gives a portrait of the true nature of this genre.

Because flamenco is not notated, the score is written as the dance proceeds. The performer is the conductor and guitarists and singers must obey the percussive lead of the dancer. I have put down these comments again and again. The form is poorly understood and rather esoteric and arcane. The responsibility lies on the dancer and to have this knowledge is imperative.

Frank writes “The woman dancing in flamenco is “mother, teacher and priestess.” This is in a symbolic sense. As metaphor, it is not to taken literately.  The signals given in the dance are built in and function to move the dance patterns smoothly one into the other. The llamada, (call) closes the door on the passage just completed and in the same action opens the door to the next.

 Robert Graves, writes in his book ,” The White Goddess”, In Mythology, the two headed god Janus signified a new beginning looking both backward and forward. January is named after him.  But before Janus thousands of years before , a two headed goddess named PostVorta and Antevorta, was a symbol of this concept. She who looked both backward and forward : She had the power to shut what was open and open what was shut, as the hinge which connects the door: the door on which the year swung”

This obviously relates to the Seasonal Pattern on Earth. In prehistoric times the dependence on sustenance from Mother Earth was paramount. Ritual dominated society.

Flamenco is a throwback to the endless chain of the rhythm on our planet. It is Universal.

In an uncanny way the Andalusian dance reflects this because of its very nature. It is a continuum.

This acknowledges that the male dancer also must follow the rules and law of the rhythm ( compás) but the male role seems meant to be a lesser figure within this art. This is not to diminish in any way the dynamics and tremendous artistry displayed by many marvelous male artists.

My message here is leading up to the point that I am a feminist.

I have always been pleased that so many women are holding prominent positions in government all over the world. It is only a hundred years since women were granted the right to vote in the United States and have a voice.

The recent election which includes the vice presidency of a woman is a great lift to me.

Waldo Frank further states that the woman dancing sends a message of “love vision and sacrifice; as opposed to lust, nakedness, and madness”




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