Flamenco Fridays “Juanito Villar” y Niño Jero

The core of the Tangos is the letra, three or four octosyllabic lines. As with the Bulerías, the  the first line is often repeated, and the repeated lines are balanced by a longer consequent phrase. Before a letra a Tangos may open with a guitar falseta or an estribillo, in which the singer sings a traditional melody with nonsense syllables (“le le le, ni, ni, etc.). The estribillo may return throughout the piece as a chorus after a letra.

Once the letra begins it can be broken up several times with remates performed by the dancer. This usually occurs between the first and second line of the letra, and often occurs more frequently, giving the dance a improvisatory air. Thus, the letras themselves can be further broken up with remates or escobillas from the dancer or with guitar falsetas. A dancer may also choose to perform a long footwork passage accompanied by compás patterns from the guitarist and palmista (an escobilla performed “a palo seco” or dry, without guitar accompaniment). As in Bulerías, Tangos can end with a cierre – a closing pattern – that is based on a different set of chords than the letras. The dancer can also perform a cue (llamada) that leads into a traveling exit – a salida. It’s also common to end certain forms in flamenco with a macho, a transition into a faster, related form. Tangos wiil often end with a brief Rumba Flamenca. Similarly, Tientos will often end with a brief Tangos.

Share this post

Leave a Comment