Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Caló Gitano

I love unexpected entertainment at weddings and special events. When you have surprise elements at events, guests are kept engaged and anticipate what's going to happen next. I find this especially helpful when you're trying to transition from a sit down dinner to dancing. Also in my opinion the best first dances at weddings are when the couples shock all their guests with a perfectly choreographed number. Today I am featuring dance company Caló Gitano. Owner, Marianela Belloso, has stopped by today to tell us about how her company can bring some excitement and fun to your next wedding or special event.Lemiga: What is Flamenco Dance?

Caló Gitano: In general, Flamenco is style of dance commonly associated with the gypsies (or "Gitanos") of southern Spain. The dance is often characterized by passionate expression, intricate and graceful arm movements, and complicated footwork. Although many people think that "Flamenco" consists of only a single dance with one rhythm, within the general category of "Flamenco," there are actually more than a dozen groups of rhythms called "Palos," and each group includes several dances. Each of these groups has its own feeling, timing, and place of origin. However, the thing that all of these dances have in common is that they are danced with passion and heart.
Lemiga: Why did you open Caló Gitano Flamenco Dance Company & Academy?

Caló Gitano: I started dancing flamenco when I was only six years old, so I have spent many years learning and loving flamenco. When I came to Atlanta in 2000, I met flamenco guitarist Farzan Kendrick and decided to form Caló Gitano as a means of continuing to transmit Spanish culture and dance throughout the United States, and as a means of bringing people together from all cultures to share in a common passion for "Flamenco."

Lemiga: What does Caló Gitano mean in English?

Caló Gitano: El Caló is the jargon spoken by the gypsy community in Spain. It was created when the gypsies in Spain started to lose their ancestral language (RomanÌ), and is often used for discrete communication. The word "Gitano" means "gypsy," and comes from the word "Egiptano," because, in the Fifteenth century it was believed that the gypsies came from "Egipto Menor" (what is now an area near Turkey). Gitanos contributed a great deal to the creation of flamenco, and one who can dance flamenco with the soul, passion, and spirit commonly displayed by the gypsies in southern Spain is said to have "duende."

Caló Gitano embodies everything that we strive to be as a flamenco dance company. We want to stand the test of time, evolve, and grow like the "Caló," and we want to transmit the passion and duende of the flamenco "Gitano" in everything that we do. This is why we proudly call ourselves Caló Gitano.
Lemiga: What levels of flamenco dance classes do you offer at Caló Gitano?

Caló Gitano: We offer classes for all levels, from beginner to advanced. For more information, go to the classes and services section of our website at http://www.calogitano.com/

Lemiga: What services do you provide for weddings and parties?

Caló Gitano: We offer flamenco shows (in English or Spanish) for parties, weddings, and other special events. Our shows are very interactive and energetic, and are designed to transport our audiences straight into the cultural heart of Spain. We even make sure that the audience members get a chance to learn a few steps and have fun with us dancing to some great Rumba Flamenca beats. You will surely be dancing if you are celebrating your birthday, anniversary, wedding, or any other special day with us.
Thanks so much Marianela for stopping by today and giving us a fascinating education in flamenco dance. It really shows how passionate you are about what you do and I have no doubt that you bring this same passion to your performances and lessons. I can imagine how much fun it would be to have you at an event.

For those of you who may be interested in learning more about flamenco dance, be sure to come to my Open House Soiree on August 24th at the Solarium. Register for the Soiree at http://lemiga.eventbrite.com/. Caló Gitano is a participating vendor and is doing a giveaway for a $50 gift certificate that you can use towards a semi-private course - perfect for those couples who may be looking for an exciting first dance for their wedding!

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