HOME DANCE LESSONS GUITAR LESSONS CANTE LESSONS CDS VIDEOS GUIDES FLAMENCO FORMS

Mojácar Flamenco performing Soleá por Bulerías

About Soleá por Bulerías

Soleá (Soleares) por Buleriás is, as it's name suggests, a Soleares with the pace and drive of a Bulerías. Often considered a hybrid form, Soléa por bulerías (also called Soleares por bulerías) is more like a point on the continuum between Soleares and Bulerías. Determining just where that point is can be a source of contention among professionals and aficionados. There are resources that state quite definitely that it is a sped up soleares and others that make it clear that it's a slowed down bulerías.

Adding to the potential for confusion, there are different names for this form: Bulería por Soleá, Soleabulería, Bulerías al golpe and Bulería pa escuchar. Contemporarily, the form is widely called Soléa por bulerías.

For us, there are four features that distinguish the Soleá por bulerías:

  • 1) The compás starts on 12, and is identical to that of the Alegrías;
  • 2) The pace is that of a slow to mid-tempo bulerías;
  • 3) The letras follow the form of soleares letras, though the repeats at the end of phrases can vary and are often extended;
  • 4) Often, although by no means always, there is a descending bass line in the guitar of D-C-Bb-A on beats 7-10, echoing similar lines found in soleares.

Form

Compás

Palmas

Video Samples

HOME DANCE LESSONS GUITAR LESSONS CANTE LESSONS CDS VIDEOS GUIDES FLAMENCO FORMS
About Solea por Bulerías

Form

A favorite dance among professional artists, Soleá por bulerías consists of a series of letras that include breaks of one or more compáses within the letra. Dancers will include "remates" - fast finishes or moments/spurts of footwork, for example, after the 1st line of a letra, which is standard practice, and even at the end of a compás while the singer is still singing. This creates a lively structure, though the dance and music also retains a majestic quality.

There is no standard music for the escobilla in this dance, though it's parent form. the Soleares has easily recognizable music for its escobilla. Dancers usually request rhythm music in the tone and key of Soléa por bulerías for extended footwork sequences. The dance follows the same structure as the Soleares.

Guitar falsetas are often included as both an introduction to the song/dance, and throughout the dance as a vehicle for the dancer. Singers admire this song, and if they perform solo versions with the guitarist only, they usually sing anywhere from 2 to 20 letras in a performance. The Soléa por bulerías and Soleares por medio are often performed together.


Compás

The compás for the Soléa por bulerías is essentially the same as that of the Alegrías. The difference is in the way the slower tempo allows one to emphasize the descending bass line on beats 7-8-9-10.


Palmas

The standard palmas for Soleá por bulerías are the same as the palmas for the Alegrías:

V
V V V V V V V V V V V
V
12 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 + 10 + 11 +


For Dancers Soléa por bulerías is considered a hybrid form by dancers, combining the music and choreographic phrases of the Soleares and Bulerías, but with the rhythmic structure of the Alegrías.  As well as performing the dance as a solo, dancers often use this form as a transition from the Soleares into long rhythmic sections (long sequences of footwork/escobillas), and/or as a rhythmic and melodic bridge into the bulerías.

With its driving rhythm, beautiful, powerful guitar music and unique letras, the dance has become very popular, and it is frequently performed as a solo, duet or larger group number in cuadro flamenco and theatrical shows.

The basic framework for Soléa por bulerías choreography is noted below, and this same framework could also be used for the Soleares. Dancers rely on the basic rhythmic structure to create choreography, a 12-count cycle with accents on counts 12, 3, 6 (or 7), 8 and 10, as well as the standard palmas noted above, which lend the dance it's "aire" - feel, or special quality. Count 12, is the heavy accent in this dance, and often used as the beginning beat for choreographic phrases and for the choreography in general. Count 1 in the cycle is also significant, since it is the cue count for the llamadas, and the start count for an escobilla.

ENTRADA/SALIDA (ENTRANCE):

The dancer enters the stage via marking steps (marcando), and performs footwork/an escobilla, which culminates in a rhythmic cue (llamada).  This cue is to “call in” the singer.  The dancer can also simply perform a llamada with no escobilla.

LLAMADA - this is the call for the singer to sing the first letra.

FIRST LETRA The singer sings 7-12 sets of 12 count phrases (standard for 12 count songs), that the dancer interprets lyrically with choreography, many and varied rhythmic punches (remates), turns, poses, and other choreographic devices. When the singer concludes the song verse (letra), the dancer will “walk out” of the verse with rhythmic palmas (CONTRA TIEMPO), marking steps, footwork and/or a SUBIDA (a rhythmic build up of tempo via repetitive footwork).  This section ends sharply, usually on count 10, or will lead directly into the:

SECOND LETRA OR FALSETA - The falsetta is a musical phrase or phrases that the guitarist has composed or improvises that the dancer interprets with choreography.

NOTE: You can perform as many letras and falsetas as you wish. Most dancers perform two letras and one falsetta.

ESCOBILLAS - a set series of footwork patterns that occur in sequence (several sets of 12 count footwork phrases).   Patterns can be performed “A PALO SECO”, dry without guitar music, or with guitar music, and both are often performed in the same dance, one after the other.

SUBIDA/PALMAS/CHOREOGRAPHY that transitions into a BULERIAS.  Usually, a REMATE/LLAMADA, a finish and a cue that are performed together in sequence, will occur here to call in the singer for the BULERIAS FINALE.

BULERIAS – FINALE for all 12 count dances.  Here, the Bulerías is a structured improvisation with set phrases/choreographic patterns, a set structure, and learned or improvised choreography.


For Guitarists
Existing somewhere between Soleares and Bulerías, Soléa por bulerías combines standard chord patterns associated with the Soleares with the pulse of the Bulerías.

1) Here are two basic compás patterns for Soleá por bulerías. These patterns can be used to maintain the compás between letras, and to accompany marking steps or footwork sections.

The first pattern includes the distinctive descending bass line often associated with the form:

A
Bb
Bb/D
Bb/C
Bb
A
12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

The second pattern is more transitional:

Bb
Fmaj7
Bb
A
12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

2) The llamada in Soleá por bulerías ins't as formally defined as those associated with other forms. One common llamada for this form echoes the descending chromatic chords associated with the Tangos llamada.

A
Bb
Bb
C
Bb
A
12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

3) The letra for Soleá por bulerías essentially consists of a single compás pattern played twice, followed by a two-compás pattern played twice. The number of times the guitarist actually plays each pattern depends on how the singer moves from one line of the letra to the next. The singer may chose to repeat, omit or extend a given line.

First pattern

A
Bb
Bb
A
12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Second pattern

A
C9 F7 F7 Bb
A
12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Sample Cante Here is a sample of two traditional letras.

Te fuiste de mi vera (Repeat 1st line)

El corazón a peazos

Como yo a ti bien te camelo

Lo haría por que, volvieras. (Repeat the last 3 lines)

2nd letra:

El día que me eches de menos (Repeat 1st line)

Vas ha salir en busca mia

Como un caballo sin freno

Por que tu eres muy borde

Como un caballo sin freno.


Video Samples

Al Baile

Al Toque

Al Cante