-Alegrías Explained- 

Alegrías Explained was our first-ever comprehensive course, and it remains one of the best guides to understanding flamenco dance accompaniment out there. It may well be the next best thing to spending years in the dance studio to learn the art of accompaniment.

Subscribers had asked us about the structure of the various dances, so in response, we did what we do best: We broke it all down. By the end of the lessons in Alegrías Explained, you will understand every aspect of a danced Alegrías. And thanks to the magnificent help of dancer Manuel Gutierrez and singer José Cortés Fernández, you get to experience what it’s like working with world-class flamenco artists, too.

Why Alegrías?

We believe that Alegrías is a great place to start in understanding how to accompany for dance. This danced palo has more distinct sections than any other dance, and many of the sections are found in other dances as well. Therefore, once you understand the concepts necessary to accompany Alegrías, you’ll have the foundation to jump into lots of other Palos. (And our Survival Guide videos can help you even more when it comes to learning to accompany a new Palo from scratch.)

Alegrías Explained will take you through every section and every transition you might run into. And if you haven’t experienced this yet first-hand, it’s the transitions more than anything that confuse guitarists as they start to accompany dance. Let the confusion end now!

Traditional and captivating

The heart of this Alegrías Explained course is the performance of a traditional danced Alegrías. Inside this course, the structure is analyzed by looking at each section individually. Then we analyze the way each section connects to what comes before and after. We include all of the possible sections of the dance: from the opening falseta through the letras, llamadas, subidas, silencio, castellana, escobilla, through to the Buleria de Cadiz and closing the dance. 

Alegrias Explained on Flamenco Explained with Jose Cortez Fernadez Manuel Gutierrez and Kai NarezoLearn and understand what is actually happening.

But you won’t need flash cards to remember all these words! There may be a lot to a danced Alegrías, but when it’s broken down, you will start to see how it all works in a way that will open your ears and mind to greater and greater understanding.

First we show you the sections and transitions. Then we explain what to look and listen for, who’s doing what when and what it’s called. Finally, the “behind the scenes” feel of what happens before a real performance: you can experience Kai, Manuel and José discussing what’s tricky and what’s important about each section.

Additionally, Alegrías Explained reveals alternative ways of playing, dancing or singing the section in question, so you will definitely want to catch this part.

Scenes from the next episode….

We breaking these sections and transitions down into episodic videos. It’s a lot to learn as a whole. Therefore, these concepts will be a lot easier to comprehend when logically broken down. Each video episode includes the transition from the previous section, the section itself, and the transition into the next section. This gives you the context you need to understand the place of each section in the greater whole and how they are all connected. 

You will be able to start at the beginning and learn the whole dance structure. Alternatively, if you only need a refresher, you can just jump in at any point and learn about the section you need help with.

Tools and Tips

Keep your eye out in the description of these videos for additional links to helpful tools and tips. You will likely come across material inside a section that you need more help with (ie: falseta or silencio). Look for the provided links to related video tutorials elsewhere on Flamenco Explained. These links will direct you to that material you will need to play from those various sections. 

This will save you years of confusion.

Alegrías Explained is the next best thing to spending years accompanying dance classes in order to learn how it all works. If you’re willing to put in some time we’re sure you’ll come away with a real understanding of how the structure of a dance works, what to look for, and what you need to work on next to up your game!

The lessons included in Alegrías Explained are:

  • Introduction (Starting the dance)
  • First Letra and Coletilla and 2nd Llamada
  • 2nd Letra and Subida
  • Silencio
  • Castellana
  • Escobilla
  • BONUS Video – Some thoughts on Alegrías and flamenco in general
  • Buleria de Cadiz
  • Estribillo or TiritiTran
  • Ending the piece
  • BONUS Video – Accompanying letras por Cantiña