local_library Flamenco: The Fiery Passion of the Gypsy Blues

by Kavita Venkateswar

Published in Issue No. 188 ~ January, 2013

Arias of a Jewish cantor, throaty and deep

Eyes framed by Spanish lashes, passionate and that of a sphinx

Cerise hair framing her Moorish face, aerial as a fairy

Flitting among the Andalusian pines, of rosemary and thyme


It is the dance of the gitanos

Of passion and of desire

For the gypsies, the dispossessed

Sing not only of loss and of pain

But of hope and survival

The dance of the ever-burning flame


It begins simply at first

His raspy voice laying soul to the stage

Softly, exquisitely…

But suddenly a spotlight hits the floor

In the light, out of the melody, she blossoms

Her palmas tap the beat

The unique twelve-count beat

Organic, dynamic

Underneath the trill of the toque, the guitar

Musical raindrops that only feed the intensity

Flower of flame


For the singer, el cantante is the heart

But la bailarina, she is el alma, the soul

Crimson of her dress

Rosebud in her hair

Blood-red tint of her lips

Zapateado, toes, heels, soles

The stomps and clicks of the nails in her boots

Furious with feeling against the wooden floor


Her body delicate yet strong

Her back, a sensual curve

Arms, muscles tense

Hands and fingers, precisely arced

And yet her skirt whirls around her

Whips of color, accentuating

Uncontrolled, beautifully free

Unfettered by suffering, rising high with triumph


Flames bursting into fire

account_box More About

Kavita Venkateswar is a recent graduate of Rice University with a degree in Chemical Engineering. Her poetry has been published in The Dreamcatcher: Awaken the Sleeping Poet Festival, R2: The Rice Review, Crack the Spine, and Everyday Poems. In 2011, she was awarded the Schumann Brothers Grant for Creative Expression, through which she was awarded $1000 to research and create a series of poems about different types of world dance. Her favorite poet is Naomi Shihab Nye. Kavita is an avid photographer and a professional Bharata Natyam dancer, and just completed advanced studies in dance and choreography in Chennai, India. In 2013, she will begin working in Boston as a consultant for Deloitte.