November 2012
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Flamenco field trip

Each semester, the Spanish department organizes a field trip to Gala, a Spanish theater in DC. This past weekend, we saw a flamenco show! I was excited to go because the theater is in a really awesome part of town with lots of little restaurants and I had never seen a professional dance show before.

When we arrived, our professors gave us some time to walk around and grab food before the show. I had been to the theater before and gotten some tasty empanadas, but they didn’t have vegetarian options this time. Instead, I got an awesome tomato and mozzarella sandwich.

After lunch, we filed into our seats to watch the show. Flamenco requires three elements: el cante (singing), el baile (dancing), and las palmas (handclaps). There were two guitarists, a violinist, two singers, and two dancers in the show. I was amazed at the concentration and intensity the dance requires as well as the fluidity of the different roles in the performance. Throughout the show, the singers would stand up and dance onstage or the dancers would sit with the musicians and add to the percussion element of the performance.

When studying a language, it is important to not only enrich vocabulary but to also increase your understanding of the various cultures that speak that language. The Spanish department does a great job of enlightening us culturally and helping us to gain a greater appreciation for the language we are learning and the people who speak it. Next semester, I’m pretty sure that we’re going to a tango performance!

Interested in learning more about flamenco? Check out this video:


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