Dance Classes in the Danger Zone

Bombings, mayhem, lockdown. Despite all of this happening the day before and during my stay in Boston I still had an amazing time. Last month I had the opportunity to travel to Massachusetts and study with the now world famous dancer and instructor Susana Lupiáñez Pinto better known as La Lupi.  Lupi has not taught in the U.S. for years and when by chance I found out about her teaching tour, I asked the universe to help me get across the country to a city where I didn’t know a soul to study with a master I’ve been following for years.

Many are unaware of just how important this woman is to the current world of flamenco in part due to her hometown (Malaga), not known as one of “thee” flamenco hot spots.  But, if you take note of the technique and artistry of her student and company ensembles you can see she not only has trained many fine dancers (Rocio Molina was her student for many years) but her staging and choreographies are not run-of-the-mill either.

As an instructor she is giving and her positive energy is infectious, she is everything (I think) a great instructor should be, attentive, demanding, helpful, giving, detailed, inspiring and innovative.  She stresses more than anything to be completely in sync or “one” with your music; to have a theatricality about your presentation, to listen to the CANTE.  Yes, these are all things we have heard many times but her approach and delivery are what make each class special. At times her movements seemed to borrow from ballet and burlesque, art forms she has never studied.  However, she mentioned that she does study…a lot.  She watches people, dancers, youtube…just like the rest of us.  This is where the real work of the dance student is; the private practice and rehearsal of things…the watching, the listening.

Oh yeah, did I mention that she taught a badass Tangos and a totally unique Guajiras with a fan?  Sorry to admit this but I’ve never been fond of listening to or watching Guajiras, I don’t have a reason for this, it’s one of those “just because” things.  However it’s my current dance/song obsession because of her unique approach to it.

A huge thanks to her man and accompanist “Curro de Maria” for getting La Lupi on youtube and constantly updating their website.  They are oh so talented and the coolest people to chill out with…true artists.

The even greater part of my short stay in Boston was all of the wonderful people I met in the local flamenco community.  This is a small, solid community that shows support for one another and outsiders like me…I love these people and can’t wait to be around them all again.  Their openness and generosity made it sad to leave. Thank you to “Ms. C”, the lovely woman and her family that opened their home to me so that I might study with these artists and also Ms. Sabrina Aviles, founder of Flamenco Dance Project for making it possible for me to be there.

One thought on “Dance Classes in the Danger Zone

  1. In the right place at the right time. I agree about the fan dance: never warmed up to it, very pretty but post-colonial, etc….

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