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Composition No. 8: La Flamenca

Enrapturing, passionate, chromatic; clapping hands, a deep pulsating rhythm manifested in stamping feet, forceful bursts at the hip, all the way up to the twisting, extending, angular movements in the fingers; her face revels in an outward disclosure of passion felt deep within; her wailing, harsh swansong sings of deep sorrow; of inherent, historical pain; her dress, an abundant effluvia cascade of polka dots and frills moves to the same captivating rhythm as the dancer, its multiple layers swaying and bouncing, augmenting the dazzling mirage of a tangible passion climaxing towards its duende.

The dance of flamenco has long fascinated me, captivated my very heart and soul as it leaves me spell bound, pinned to the spot, enraptured by the raw materialisation of an emotional depth and cultural heritage which is so different from any dance ever made in the polite ballrooms of the west. When I went to see a concert of Estrella Morenete this Spring in London, I sat throughout much of the performance in tears. There is something about flamenco – its melodies and rhythms just as much as its dance which has the power to transport directly into the heart of Spain, and I think for this reason alone, I am in love with it.

Composition No. 8 - La Flamenca (2013 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, gouache on paper)

Composition No. 8 (La Flamenca) (2013 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, gouache on paper)

This summer’s return to Spain of course never failed to inspire me artistically as the last few posts on The Daily Norm will demonstrate – and where that inspiration led to paintings, I continued to explore the medium of gouache which I first started using a few months back. When I headed along to the Flamenco Ana Maria in Marbella’s old town on the night before my birthday, and was again entranced by the exquisitely spontaneous emotional outpouring of the music and the dance, I knew that Flamenco would inspire my next gouache. So following on from my series of “compositions” in which I take more of an abstract attitude to otherwise figurative works, I constructed my dancer (on a page twice the size of my other compositions numbers 3-7) utilising the idea of an overlapping construct which I have been exploring in my other works, something which worked well when I was unable to settle on one pose, and so instead depicted several poses, all overlapping into a collective exploration of the electric impassioned movements of a flamenco dancer.

Her dress, my favourite feature, is a cornucopia of different reds, polka dots and of course those lacey frills, while the background attempts to reflect not only the angular, chromatic, discordant sounds of the flamenco rhythms and moves of the dance, but also echoes the kind of rich elaborate Moorish wooden ceilings which were introduced in Spain during the Islamic occupation of Al Andalus, and are now an iconic feature of the Islamic architecture which has helped to shape the cultural character of the South, and is indeed accredited to having given birth to the songs and movements of the Flamenco we know and love.

So without further ado, I leave you to look at my new composition, and also, below, a series of photographs from our recent visit to the Flamenco in Marbella. Hasta luego.

IMG_3861 IMG_3859 IMG_3852 IMG_3864 IMG_3849

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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