Origins of Flamenco
August is festival, or feria, month in Andalusia. And a great ways to celebrate and have fun is to enjoy the incredible flamenco dancing that features each year.
It is not exactly clear when or where flamenco actually originated. However, it is almost certain that it developed mainly in the Spanish region of Andalusia. History tends toward the idea that the Gitanos (gypsies) travelled across places such as India and Egypt, finally ending in southern Spain’s Andalusian region.
In Andalusia flamenco was further developed during the era when the population of Spain was mainly Arabs and predominantly Muslim. It was a time where communities of Arabs, Jews and Christians lived harmoniously and shared art, music and culture, giving Spain, at the time a reputation for being one of the best art cultures of the world.
Andalusian’s may argue about which city or area is the heart of flamenco, Jerez, Sevilla and Granada? But more or less wherever you go today in Spain, you will find flamenco being danced in bars, squares and cafes.
Flamenco Of The Past
A short excerpt of a 1970s film of Maria Albaicin dancing with dignity and passion.
Songs and Dances of Passion
The flamenco ‘cante jondo’ (deep song) told of the despair of the marginalised sections of society – the Andalusian peasants.
The dance, the songs and the music carried powerful messages about their plight which is demonstrated in the intensity of expressions and the cadence of the music. If nothing else flamenco is passion in its extreme that reaches and mesmerises its audience as it teases the deepest of human emotions.
What to Wear?
For the women the traditional outfit to wear for flamenco at the Ferias in Andalusia is a traje de flamenca (flamenco outfit) or “traje de gitana” (Gitana/Gypsy outfit). Take care not to mix up your day dress with a dancers dress! But see www.dancepoise.com And take a look at some of these fabulous designs at Alberti Dress
Check out this wonderful article by A.J. Samuels. Written a couple of years ago but very interesting on the,
Feature image: Sevilla: Parliament House: Pixabay/raw2jpeg
Dance and music has always been a means of people expressing themselves. What traditional dances are there in your country or region and what stories that are handed down through dance?
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