Recently I took Anna to the historic Lensic Theatre, just off the Old Plaza in Santa Fe, to see a gala performance of flamenco dancing. I’ve been enthralled by flamenco since watching dancers in Seville, Spain, in 2012. I’m not a ‘dance’ Guy, but there’s something magical about the contradiction between incredibly ‘happy’ feet and faces of defiance. Flamenco is for dancers who are serious — not merely serious about their craft, but serious about the symbolism of their dervish dance. It is a dance which says in every way, “I may bend, but I am not broken! My soul is my Own and I dance my manifesto!”
Rather Scottish Terrier-like, eh? I remember thinking that very thing as I watched dancers in Seville and again as I watched the professional dance performance in Santa Fe.
Flamenco is foot-jazz of defiant ancestors channeled through youth who are old souls. I can’t watch it without thinking of Highland Chieftans and clans, whose will was bent but never broken in Scotland, and who bred unawares into the dog who wears the Motherland’s name those traits of independence, loyalty, and defiant toughness they prized in themselves. There’s something magical in the Scottie ‘dance’ of life, so independent, so self-directed, so defiant of all that would co-opt and un-Scottify them.
Like so much else in my life, a trip to the upscale Lensic Theatre in “The City Different” to watch great flamenco dancing brought home to me rather down-scale truth about the fiercely independent Scotties I love and my own drive to live Life my way.
My new-found love of Flamenco Dance and its subtle analogy to the defiant “perfect imperfections” of the Scottish Terrier, inspired poetry when I came home from Spain in 2012. I share that poem with my blog readers as ladder to new appreciation, perhaps, of the willful little dogs who steal our hearts.
Castilian dervish in painted dress
You spin your tale of life’s duress
In flash of color, stamping feet,
Eyes of love and lust discreet.
Your feet to dance, your heart to God,
You bare your soul in smallest nod,
Turn gesture, act, of frenzied pace,
To tableau of the human race:
From bruiséd conscience of Gypsy soul,
To each heart’s protest ‘gainst the toll
Of dark-night grief when God distracted
Abandons Calvary re-enacted;
Protest ‘gainst our angel mud
Which longs to rise a pollened bud
But slouches low our heels to grind
Each other eye-for-eye till blind.
Castilian beauty in painted dress,
You spin a tale of Man’s distress;
Yet dance salvation if we could see:
For wound-turned-beauty is Alchemy
To One-and-All with hearts not hollow,
To One-and-All with feet to follow.
Dance your tale with defiant face;
Morph life’s pain into stunning grace;
Glimpse us Quixote, alive and free!
Dance for all . . .
Dance for Me.