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Be Still

Be Still

One of the most difficult things to do on stage is to simply do nothing. If you've ever choreographed something yourself or put together a pataíta por Bulerías, I'm sure you will have been tempted to fill it with all of your favorite steps. You've spent enough time learning them, you want to get some use out of them, right?

So we fill our choreographies with thousands of details and complicated steps, and we dance our hearts out. And we get lost in the confusion. The audience becomes confused and may eventually lose interest. And there is nothing worse than performing to an audience whose attention you've lost along the way...

Look at some of the great dancers of our time ‑ Manuela Carrasco, Farruquito, La Yerbabuena... their stillness is compelling. One of the most intense stage entrances I have ever seen was performed by La Faraona - Farruco's eldest daughter. It was por Bulerías - she simply strode on the stage as if in her own world and, on the exact beat of 10 she raised her head to look straight at the audience. And there she stayed. Qué arte! I don't know how long she stood there, but she kept the audience on the edge of their seat and holding their breath just by being, standing stock still in the center of the stage.

Stillness provides a stunning contrast to the outbursts of intense movement so inherent to Flamenco. But let's be honest, it takes guts to just be still. You have to believe in yourself - believe that you are worth watching even when doing nothing. It might take you out of your comfort zone a little, but look on the positive side - you'll have less to choreograph!