History of Flamenco Dance The art form developed over several centuries from Gypsy, Moorish, Andalusian, and other roots. The History of Flamenco Until recent times, flamenco artists have not been literate people, and thus have not provided us with written records of their lives and music. Flamenco Dance History Flamenco Dance is a Spanish dance form, practiced in the Andalusia, the southern region of Spain. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Although, by now, flamenco has adopted a global status, the dance originated in the 15th century, with the arrival of the Gitanos (gypsies) to the Iberian Peninsula. Flamenco History Flamenco originated in the Spanish region of Andalusia in the 18th Century and is closely linked to the gitano (gypsy) culture present in that region. According to most scholars, Flamenco dancing dates to the 15th century, though there are claims the art dates back to even the 14th. A deeply musical dancer, after a 15- or 20-minute sequence, is said to fall into a duende, an intensely focused, trancelike state of transcendent emotion that Federico García Lorca in 1933 described as los sonidos negros (“the dark sounds”) invading the performer’s body. Its roots are in Seville and in the custom that had thepeasants and gypsy women, of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, to wear a robe with ruffles as a uniform to do their chores. Subsequently, the commercialization of flamenco began in the late 19th century, which transmitted into the openings of cafés cantantes – cafés and bars in which flamenco song and dance accompanied the evening visitors. Furthermore, films that included flamenco became a key component in the government’s plan to attract more tourists to Spain. A form of dance done in the Andalucian region of Spain, Flamenco is an amalgamation... Flamenco Dance Categories. The term 'flamenco' was first recorded in the late 18th century but many believe the art form is much older. Contemporary artists such as Eva la Yerbabuena, Joaquín Cortés, Antonio Canales, Belén Maya, and Juana Amaya are creating new rhythmic strategies in the studio and integrating them into longer narrative theatre pieces in which rhythm becomes the dominant element of the dance. Although many of the details of the development of flamenco are lost in history, it is certain that it originated in Andalusia and that from the VIII to the XV centuries, when Spain was under Arab domination, their music and musical instruments were modified and adapted by Christians and Jews, and later by gipsies becoming a hybrid music separate from the musical forms which created it. Updates? The word Flamenco in Spanish originally meant Flemish. Complex rhythmic patterns are created by a sophisticated footwork technique, so the flamenco dancer wears special shoes or boots with dozens of nails driven to the soles and heels. A bailaor wears a tight black or red tuxedo and flat Cordoban hats, while bailaoras wear a long and beautiful frilled dress called ‘Bata de Cola’, that is colored black, white, red, blue, and sometimes pink, accompanied with a shawl, high heels, and a fan. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, flamenco - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Brendan. In Spain they encountered the rich cultures of the Sephardic Jews and the Moors. Three major developmental phases can be recognized in the evolution of flamenco: the arrival of the gypsies to Spain, the romantic era, and Franco’s dictatorship. This ‘Spanish art’ was accordingly extended throughout Europe, so much that the most prestigious ballerinas of the theatre were converted into ‘Gitanas.’ Ballerinas such as Taglioni or Gestiginer adopted the gypsy image and together with the ópera flamenca – a flamenco spectacle translated into opera and ballet – flamenco had officially transformed to a popular culture enjoyed by the aristocrats and elites. Certainly, films, such as Los Tarantos (1963) widely popularized flamenco as a Spanish art form to the citizens of other European countries. The years uo to 1936 were to be the years of the theatrical presentation of flamenco, of the "Opera Flamenca" and "Flamenco Ballet". Flamenco performer dancing. Performers use castanets, a shawl, a trail of the skirt, their shoes and, of course, the flamenco dance moves. Learn traditional Flamenco dance in the stunning Granada countryside. The dance reflects the passion, romance and fervor of people and is beautifully crafted with grace and dignity. Always considered as the musical outlet of the poor and oppressed, flamenco is an art form that incorporates singing, dancing and guitar. It is danced by a man and a woman in traditional Spanish costumes. In Spain, the Roma are called Gitanos. Flamenco culture originated in Andalusia (Spain), but has since become one of the icons of Spanish music and even Spanish culture in general. This very strong resemblance to East Indian dance is seen in the Katak, NianiPuri, Kathakal and Bharatanatyam forms. Gitano flamenco performers regard the cante jondo as a form of prayer, and thus, in duende, the dancer communicates with both the audience and God. Throughout its history, it has evolved to become consecrated as the artistic expression it is now. Flamenco Dance Posture, Hands, and Arms. Thus, the serious soleares, a descendant of the much older cañas, gave rise to the light alegrías, from which developed other light-song types, such as the bulerías. Thus, by the time of Franco’s death in 1975, flamenco had established itself in the music and dance world as a prominent form of art and culture, synonymous with Spanish identity.By Paula Koller, Evoking passion, temperament and energy, flamenco is one of the most exhilarating art forms to witness, both in the visual and in the audible sense. A LIVING HISTORY Flamenco is not merely a style of music, song or dance from Spain but rather a way of life thatinfluences the daily activities of many individuals. Among the many great early 20th-century performers are La Argentina (Antonia Mercé), Vicente Escudero, Carmen Amaya, La Argentinita (Encarnación López), José Greco, and Pilar López, as well as the troupes of Antonio and Rosario (Antonio Ruiz Soler and Rosario Florencia Pérez Podilla) and Ximénez-Vargas (Roberto Ximénez and Manolo Vargas). Latin American influence appears in later genres such as the rumbas gitanas and the colombianas. Actually, up until about the last 200 years, there was little to no written history of Flamenco. Ultimately, though, it was a union of folk styles that began the form as we know it today. The dancers of the Flamenco Dance form are required to stand still for a few moments after the start of the music. After three centuries of extortion and oppression by the monarchy, flamenco started to finally receive continental recognition. What had been an essentially outdoor, outsider, family-oriented activity that focused on cante was transformed beginning in 1842, when Silverio Franconetti founded the first café cantante, Café sin Nombre, in Sevilla (Seville). The dancer is the protagonist of the singer’s narrative and its interpreter. Singing was then the primary aspect of flamenco, dancing and musical accompaniment being secondary. Summary These lessons are designed to introduce some of the history, traditions, and music of Spain. The last developmental phase to flamenco becoming the art form everyone knows and loves today was its adoption as a national dance by the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco (in power: 1939-1975). Although a fragmented record of the development of Spanish music does exist, the more intimate aspects of the art of flamenco were not made public until Although much less research has been undertaken in the field of flamenco dance than music, it has been documented that during the Phoenician empire, in the city of Cadiz, Hindu dancers were hired as entertainers for the festivals, aspects of which were incorporated into local processions and religious festivals. Their centuries-long cultural intermingling produced the unique art form known as flamenco. Please select which sections you would like to print: While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. The second lesson is designed to teach students a fun Spanish children’s song. This settlement occurred after a certain diaspora, in which the gypsies traveled for centuries across different lands of the globe, most likely India, Iran and Egypt. Thus, it’s a dance that intermingles features from the local musical culture and many others thanks to the influences travellers brought back to Spain from the colonies. Several intellectuals, including Lorca and composer Manuel de Falla, sought to restore the purity of flamenco, and in 1922 they instituted the first flamenco competition—calling for cante primitivo andaluz (“primitive Andalusian cante”). Guests will learn the techniques, beats, rhythms, and choreography accompanied by guitar and the cajón. The cante intermedio is a hybrid form that incorporates elements of Spanish music styles, especially the fandango. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. Although, by now, flamenco has adopted a global status, the dance originated in the 15th century, with the arrival of the Gitanos (gypsies) to the Iberian Peninsula. Flamenco dance and music is a beautiful mix of the earliest known Hindu dances like kathak and bharatanatyam, the coronarchs of the Greek mourners, and the mimes of Imperial Rome. The roots of flamenco, though somewhat mysterious, seem to lie in the Roma migration from Rajasthan (in northwest India) to Spain between the 9th and 14th centuries. Although at present, the gypsy dress has crossed borders and is an outfit worn by women from all over the world, the origin of this dress is humble. The origins, history and importance of the cante is covered in the main Wikipedia entry for the cante flamenco. During the 18th and the 19th century, the dance saw its golden age, with flamenco fiestas and the day-long social gatherings. Hailing from southern Spain's outcast populations, flamenco dance and music drew early influences from Greek and Roman and later from Indian, Moorish, and Jewish cultures. Origins of the Dance Flamenco dance and the guitar music that accompanies it comes from southern Spain in the Andalusian region associated with the Roma or gypsy people. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Some theories calculate it dates from the 1700’s, and it is believed that the Flamenco culture was born out of the constant interaction … First, a little history. Flamenco was, in this era, an artistic haven for romanticists as it was a manifestation of the oriental and the exotic. During the 18th and the 19th century, the dance saw its golden age, with flamenco fiestas and the day-long social gatherings. Author of. The alboreás is traditionally sung only at weddings and is considered unlucky on other occasions. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. In the last few decades of the 20th century, flamenco also was influenced by the general musical trend toward fusion of styles. It is known, however, that it originated in the Andalusia area. Elements such as the deep-seated plie, outturned leg position, sharp angles of th… This 7 day course will explore the history of Flamenco, influences from around the world and modern-day interpretations. These innocent and black and white films, which often included flamenco-esque elements of singing and dancing, became popular in the 1930s and over the following decades developed into a … Author: Kate Swanson. Andalucia and Flamenco are inextricably intertwined. Flamenco Dance History Origin & History of Flamenco Dance. The cante jondo, whose structure usually is based on a complex 12-beat rhythm, is thought to be the oldest form. The dance has no set tempo. Flamenco dancing is very passionate. Baile, or dance, has been the dominant element of flamenco since that time, though it is never performed without accompaniment. Male dancers usually perform intricate footwork, whereas female dancers, traditionally wearing elaborately ruffled dresses, emphasize the hands and upper torso. Kate Swanson is an Australian writer and dancer with nearly 40 years' experience in ballet, jazz, flamenco, ballroom, Latin and bellydance. It’s said that it has roots from all the medieval cultures that inhabited Spain. From world music to modern opera, sort fact from fiction in this study of musical origins. The baile is a sensuous display of fluid motion, stylized and yet highly personal, involving movement of the arms (braceo) and upper torso, hand and finger movement (florea), footwork (zapateado), and heelwork (taconeo), which are often displayed in long solo passages (solea). Other forms, such as the fandangos grandes, were adopted from Spanish folk song and dance, the fandangos becoming more serious in character than the original and begetting a series of descendants that includes the malagueñas and the Arab-influenced cartageneras. Although the Spanish dance can nowadays be seen as synonymous with its national identity, its roots and the route to popularity were more complex. Agustín Castellón Campos (stage name: Sabicas) performed his first concert in Pamplona at the age... Paco de Lucía (1947-2014). Flamenco history has only been documented for the past 200 years or so, and anything before this time is open to debate and speculation. These migrants brought with them musical instruments, such as tambourines, bells, and wooden castanets, and an extensive repertoire of songs and dances. With the arrival of the Romantic era in Europe in the late 18th and early 19th century, flamenco started to gain prominent status in literature and the arts. Flamenco is a song, music and dance style which is strongly influenced by the Gitanos, but which has its deeper roots in Moorish musical traditions. It is, in these scenarios, where … Flamenco is rooted in the folkloric musical traditions of the Roma people in the Spanish region of Andalusia, as well as Extremadura and Murcia. Dancers tell a story of the song as well add their own elements to it. One of the first great flamenco players, Montoya believed in the guitar’s unlimited... Sabicas (1912-1990). Flamenco is all about the posture. 5 crucial points to understand flamenco dance history Flamenco is a typical style of music and dance of Spain, specially from the regions of Andalucía, Extremadura and Murcia. A prime example of the fanatical fantasy of flamenco can be seen in Prosper Mérimée’s Carmen (1845). The word Flamenco in Spanish originally meant Flemish. As an accompanist to the dancer (bailaor [male], bailaora [female]), the singer (cantaor) relates the legends and stories of daily life that reflect the experiences of an outcast subculture within predominately white, Christian Spain. The History of Flamenco The history of Flamenco is a bit sketchy for the simple fact that much of its past has been documented through oral tradition. It is characterized by profound emotion and deals with themes of death, anguish, despair, or religious doubt. The art form of Flamenco consists of three distinct parts: the 'cante' or song, the 'toque' or playing of the guitar, and the 'baile' or dance. That establishment and the many others that sprang up in the major urban centres of Spain—notably Granada, Córdoba, and Sevilla—placed emphasis on the musicians and dancers, and it was in this period that the singer began to take a secondary role. Flamenco History, Styles, Dancers and Musicians The History of Flamenco. Much of what we know from before this time comes from stories and legends that have been passed down through family dynasties, in a similar way to the flamenco … The Complicated History of Flamenco in Spain The music, born of gypsies in the country’s southern regions, was embraced by foreigners long before it became a … It was in this time period that the modern form of flamenco, which is popular nowadays, emerged. Corrections? The flamencohistory dates back from the 18th century, despite some scholars claim that it existed long before that. Although many of the details of the development of flamenco are lost in history, it is certain that it originated in Andalusia and that from the VIII to the XV centuries, when Spain was under Arab domination, their music and musical instruments were modified and adapted by Christians and Jews, and later by gipsies becoming a hybrid music separate from the musical forms which created it. 4. Through this, the gypsies started to adopt the various folk dances they encountered on their journey, which they then amalgamated in order to create their own culture, identity, and art of expression. Flamenco is an art form comprising of songs, dances, and instrumental music associated with southern Spain. This extraordinary state is enhanced by rhythmic hand clapping and encouraging interjections (jaleo) from the audience and fellow performers. Sharp movements and facial expressions play a greater role in this style of dance than in many others, reflecting … Flamenco music and dance became popular in … Thus the history of flamenco can be examined through the study of Spain’s invasions and their effects on the music of the Iberian Peninsula. This timely attempt to prevent the further debasement of an authentic folk art effectively promoted flamenco to a sophisticated urban public and helped to further the thoughtful development of the art within a modern context. Assistant Professor of Performance Studies and Theatre, Long Island University, Long Island, New York. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Flamenco has acoustic guitar music, singing, hand claps, heel stamps, castanets. Flamenco Dance: Andalusian soul. Try researching into flamenco dance and you'll soon hit a major hurdle: in the early days, the cante was all that mattered. Flamenco was formed from the fusion of the folk music of southern Spain with the music that the gypsies created from that same musical environment. This analytical history traces representations of flamenco dance in Spain and abroad from the twentieth century to the present, using histories, film, accounts of live performances, and practitioner interviews. Login ) to your inbox dancing and musical accompaniment being secondary decades the. Was intended to be an outwardexpression of an individuals most profound emotions and the day-long social gatherings until the. 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