Postcard from Rachael
Flamenco Australia Magazine welcomes articles from Australians visiting Spain for flamenco - whether it’s for performance, study or simply to enjoy a show!
This article is from Rachael Melky from Sydney, who’s been in Spain for three months to take classes in Seville and attend the 2019 Festival de Jerez. Thanks, Rachael!
If you are visiting Spain and would like to contribute to Flamenco Australia Magazine, please get in touch.
What did you come here for?
Lots of things! My main goal was to develop a better understanding of flamenco as a whole and the interaction and connection between the musicians and dancers. I wanted to immerse myself in the culture trialling what it's like to dance and train everyday in the mecca of flamenco.
I have the most amazing teacher back in Sydney (Chachy Peñalver) whom I miss and I’m reminded of everyday. Her classes inspired me to come here and do this. I felt there was something missing in my dancing, something I needed to find myself - Spain was calling me.
And…. have you found it?
I have definitely found it and more.
A new friend here told me "the more you learn, the more you realise you don't know" - and it sums it up so well.
I've only been learning flamenco for 7 years and every day here still feels like my first. I love flamenco because you never stop learning and being here has reinforced that. I don't know if I'm technically any better yet, but I feel like my time here has changed the way I understand and approach flamenco.
What's the best discovery you've made this trip?
Besides my favourite coffee place and my favourite peña... the people. You learn so much from your teachers and just as much from your peers.
First of all the peña’s are amazing! I try and go as much as I can. I have a new found respect for the dancers and musicians. Performing for a passionate flamenco audience is probably the most challenging but also the most rewarding. They understand the story you're telling, they understand every accent and most of the time they are doing palmas with you.
I've learnt so much just by watching and listening to how the dancer interprets the palo, where they put certain steps and how they tell their story. It’s a journey.
My new flamenco friends have also taught me so much. Learning with them, hearing their stories of why they are here inspires me and has helped me understand how flamenco speaks to everyone so differently.
Most of us are expats chasing a crazy dream, and it’s comforting to know I’m not alone.