"Spain: A Passion for Life"
Nowhere is Madrid's "Passion for Life" expressed fully than in one of their dances--the flamenco. My own exposure was a visit to a club so small; we were practically on the wooden stage. Tall, lanky and dark-haired Jose Maria Velazquez walked out quietly, assumed a ballet position with both arms lifted over his head, feet at an angle. He looked like a natural for a basketball game, but could he perform the intricate steps that constitute a flamenco dance? The music began and the answer crashed upon our ears in a deafening tattoo of tapping toes and heels. The crescendo of the rhythm of his boots on the wood became a torrent of syncopation. His clothes were wet now and his hair undulated in communion with his twirling-shaking-jumping. The crowd was part of the dance. They, and I, were cheering, Ole-ole-oleee." Thus was I introduced to flamenco dancing and became part of the Spaniards' contagious passion for life.