(Video link HERE.) The other evening we were invited to a concert of Andalusian-born Flamenco singer Estrella Morente, whose incredibly expressive, passionate and complex singing is legendary in Spain. We noticed that as Morente sang, members of the audience would occasionally say “Olé” (pronounced alé). Morante and her accompanists — three clapping as percussion, two playing guitars, one drums — would also utter “Olé “when one of them was performing particularly moving or daring passages.
Olé. This is not bull-fighting “olé” most Westerners know of. Rather, it seemed to be a sort of affirmation of “That is right“, as one Spanish friend put it, reserved for and in acknowledgement of, true expression. It is a vocalization of “yes”.
Since that evening, Morente’s music has been resonating. We can’t help but think how powerful it would be if we had a way to say and receive “Olé” when we are really putting it out there.
The most important thing is to do go deep and be honest when you do something, and this allows each person to move forward and grow with their particular strengths and in their own way.—Estella Morente