“Stay where there are songs” —Romani Proverb
By Camille S. Campbell
As you stroll down the Spanish plaza,
the vibrant strum of the guitar
captures your attention.
Ole, you spot a flash of red!
Spin, Swirl, Clap!
The flamenco dancer whirls,
her dress blooming like a rose,
crimson ruffles of silk.
The tense passionate dance
seizes you and doesn’t let you go.
Así se baile!
The dancer tells a story….
Her scarlet skirts glow
like fires of the Reconquista,
the heels tapping faster and faster!
With a lace fan, she strokes away the pain,
“They can burn our caravans, imprison us,
but they will never erase who we are!”
A thorned rose, her spirit doesn’t break.
As the world around her crescendos,
she never falls off tempo!
When the last strum pierces the air,
the crowd explodes in applause.
Everyone feels the Freedom of Dance!
On a vacation to Sedona, my family and I enjoy visiting the Spanish plaza, which is full of statues, galleries and traditional restaurants. However, the most captivating feature of this plaza is the live flamenco guitar and dance performance. As a classical guitarist, I’ve always been entranced by the passionate flamenco music and the wordless stories that flamenco dancers tell with their movements. During the Reconquista–and throughout history–the Romani often faced severe persecution. I found it fascinating that the Romani were originators of flamenco dance before it was accepted as a trademark of Spain. In my poem, I wanted to tell the reader the story of the Flamenco, which expresses passion, pain and freedom, all at the same time!