Flamenco Dancing Headington Festival Oxford

The organisers of the Headington Festival in Oxford approached the fabulous flamenco dancer, Laura to ask her if she could provide a performance of flamenco dance for the festival on Saturday 3rd June 2017.

They already knew of her high standard of flamenco dancing from her previous performances.

Laura said that she could and then approached me to ask if I would accompany her. Needless to say I was delighted to do so.

It was an absolutely beautiful day with radiant sunshine. We were set up in the street and were grateful for such good weather.

The festival organisers had supplied amplification and microphone and I was most grateful to sound engineer Juan Manuel who was on hand the whole time to adjust the microphone and loud speakers. Having a good sound without feedback is vital to a good performance.

This flamenco performance focused on Laura’s dancing and she danced her delightful Alegrias, her exhilarating Tangos and well as Fandangos, Sevillanas and Rumba.

At one point another Spanish flamenco dancer who lives in Oxford passed by and joined Laura for the Sevillanas. For the guitarist that is a challenge but also inspiring.

The difficulty is that if you have never met a dancer before you do not know what to expect and straight into performance without any kind of rehearsal means that you have to pay maximum attention to both dancers.

The joy is that this kind of spontaneity keeps flamenco vibrant and alive. There certainly is a place for the well choreographed flamenco show but there is also a place for the unexpected immediaccy in flamenco.

On this note Laura spotted a little girl who had been watching intently and fascinated by the flamenco dance.

Laura asked me to change the programme order and to play a Rumba so that she could invite the child to join in and indeed she did. I think it was wonderful not just for the child’s mother but for the whole crowd there to see how this little girl went straight for it and very successfully followed all of Laura’s moves.

Throughout the programme Laura also played some wonderful duets with my guitar playing for Sevillanas and Colombiana and gave me some very good palmas to accompany my Bulerias.

The crowd that gathered was wonderful and I was impressed with how attentive they were especially as one would not necessarily expect that is a street show.

We are both grateful to the organisers for giving us this performance space and the Master of Ceremonies for his kind words.

With the beautiful summer sun for that day it was as if Headington, Oxford was in Andalucia, Spain.