When dancing Bulerías Por Fiesta, do you know when to listen out for the caída?
First, let me explain what is the 'caída'. Caída comes from the spanish verb 'caer' meaning to fall or drop.
The 'caída' in Bulerías is the drop in tone at the end of a sung line, signifying a resolve in the letra. As a dancer we want to be able to resolve at the same time as the singer with our movements.
When we're dancing Bulerías Por Fiesta, we're told we should listen out for the caída so we know when to 'come in' with a llamada or remate or a transition step...
Cue confusion number one. So back in the day (before I had it all figured!), I'm listening out the entire time the singer is singing, for "the caída". I used to think it could be anywhere, and I didn't want to miss it. And then I was thinking, 'wait, have I missed it?' and then I missed it. 🙄
During the letra, the caída *usually* falls in just one place – at the end of the second sung line. This was a BIG reveal for me when I figured that out. Instantly the whole por fiesta thing was so much easier!!
The reason we need to listen out for the caída (even though we know where it is now), is because we don't know if the singer will repeat any of the sung lines or not, or whether the singer will extend the sung line by repeating some of the words or lengthening the vowels.
So that's where the improvisation (and magic) comes in.
I hope you like this explanation of the caída and that it helps you with your Por Fiesta improvs!!
To help you get familiar with hearing the caída, here's a short video segment of José Mercé singing por Bulerías and I've typed in notes for where to listen out for the caída:
🎵 this is the letra José is singing in the video:
Contigo subí la cuesta (first sung line)
Y ahora que bajarla quiero
qué trabajito me cuesta (second sung line)
I share my step-by-step framework teaching flamenco dancers how to pull off the perfect pataíta and dance 'in the middle' (aka improvise!) without feeling terrified, not hearing the cues or knowing the parts of the dance!