After our last tutorial where we tried out some body percussion we're now going to add it to a llamada for bulerias.
This is a simple llamada (ha! nothing is simple in flamenco) that uses a variation of one of the percussion patterns we learnt previously and also includes in the first compás a typical pattern for a llamada for a 12 beat compás.
We hope you enjoy playing with this one!
We made a downloadable cheatsheet for this llamada. Just click the pink button below to grab your copy!
First lets look at this thing and then we'll break it down.
To learn this llamada we're going to start with the second compas, in other words, the percussion.
The pattern is in double time and starts on the contratiempo (off-beat) between counts 1 and 2.
In the video below I take you through the first part of the percussion, then the second part. We then join the two parts together and then add on the beginning and the end of the compás.
To start with just get used to doing the percussion patten all the way through without stopping.
Once you've got that add in the first golpe on count 12.
Then add in the final half of the compás.
You'll notice that after the golpe on count 12 I turn to the diagonal and drop my torso.
Try to get down as much as you can without collapsing the upper body (see photo below). I haven't mastered this yet but try to get low and then in the second half of the compás when your arms open to the side you lift your torso and head back up.
You'll also need to be quick to bring your right leg up and to the back to do the golpe on count 6.
In the diagram above I've mapped the main events to help you practice. The highlighted counts (12, 6 and 10) are the accents.
Now let's move on to the first part of the llamada.
This is a pattern you will see again and again but don't make the mistake of thinking that this is the only way a llamada can be danced. This is one example amongst thousands of possibilities.
First the feet.
The llamada starts with three golpes on the right leg on counts 1, 2 and 3. On count three you will transfer your weight to the right foot so you can pick up your left foot for the next step.
On count 4 you do a single planta with the left foot next to the right.
On count 5 step forward on the left foot (this doesn't need to be a big step).
On count six do a golpe with the right foot next to the left.
Now you will pick up the right foot again to do a planta - tacón (7 and) repeat with planta - tacón on the left (8 and) and the again on the right (9 and).
On count 10 you do a golpe on the left foot.
From here you do nothing on count 11 and then move on to the second compás which we just learnt.
G = golpe P = planta S = step T = tacón R = right (foot) L = left (foot)
Counts 1 - 3 : Arms open to second and close in front of the body, one wrist circle.
Counts 4 - 6 : Arms open to second and the move up to fifth position.
Counts 7 - 10 : Arms come down the front of the body with one wrist circle.
You can see how this all works in the video below.
Joining everything together
Now you need to join it all together. You will 'finish' (not really finish) the first compás on count 10, wait for one beat on count 11 and the come in with the second compás of count 12 with the golpe on the right foot and turn to the diagonal before starting the percussion.
Follow the video below to see how it all flows together.
Once you have the mechanics of everything increase the speed and try to capture the dynamic of the llamada. This takes experimentation and just having a go.
It took me four attempts and many hours to capture this simple llamada for you. At first the version I had was fancy but I was out of compás and I didn't realise it until I got home and started editing (aargh!). So in the end I simplified it until I had control of what I was doing (I'm no José Merino) and could dance it confidently in compás.
Once you've got the basics of this llamada you can change it and make it your own.
There are some extra layers of movement that I haven't highlighted in the text. Can you find them and add them in to your own llamada?