When dancing Bulerías Por Fiesta, the coletilla is the short letra the cantaor/a will be singing you as you dance your way off stage with the final.
The coletilla is sung with greater energy than the letra. This high energy is kept up through out the coletilla. This is one way that makes it recognisable from the main letra - by the consistent upbeat melody.
The coletilla is also your invitation from the singer for you to wrap up your turn and leave the stage. Adiós!! 👋🏼 If you are on stage, and the singer starts the coletilla, then on the next compás possible, you would perform a llamada and prepare for final.
🔑 In terms of structure, just like the main letra, a Bulerías coletilla consists of two sung lines.
The first sung line is usually sung over half a compás, and the second sung line is usually sung over one compás.
This is different to the main letra where the first sung line is usually one compás, and the second sung line is usually two compáses.
🔑 Similar to the main letra, the two sung lines are usually written as three lines.
Here is an example of a Bulerías coletilla, written as three lines:
Son los toreros (first sung line)
Los que se ponen (second sung line)
cintas en el pelo
How many times the second sung line is repeated by the cantaor/a depends on the dancer! The cantaor/a will keep repeating the second sung line, or at least continue with jaleos, until the dancer has finished their final.
You will never be abandoned by the singer or the cuadro while you are dancing your final – good to know 😅
If you are wondering what is a typical or 'good standard' for the length of the final, a general rule of thumb is usually around 3 compáses for the second sung line to finish your final.
But it is not incorrect to have more or less than 3! You're improvising, it's up to you 💃🏻
📓 (NOTE: This information relates to the Bulerías de Jerez style.)
I hope you liked this explanation of what a Bulerías coletilla looks like and that it also helps you make more sense of the cante!
Until next time, happy dancing 💃🏼
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!