What is flamenco?


This dance form is an example of a partnered/non-partnered dance. In classes a choreographed sequence is generally taught, but in practice it is an improvised dance. (Editor).

Flamenco emerged from the gradual assimilation of the folk culture of the Spanish Romany (or Gypsy) people who first settled in Catalonia in the Fifteenth Century with the ancient, predominantly Moorish Andalusion musical tradition, eventually becoming Spain?s national dance. It is an intense, passionate dance form with an emotional focus that feeds on improvisation. Dancers talk of the ?duende? - the spirit that enters them as they near exhaustion: this spirit is said to take control of the body, making each performance unique. Three elements make up the dance?the staccato steps of the dancer; the singer?s passion and the driving force of the guitar. The dancer beats his or her heels from a gentle whisper to a frenzy while clapping to define the rhythm or curving arms to create elegant patterns in the air. Sometimes a dancer may use castanets to emphasise the beat. The dancer?s movements are enhanced by a swirling dress for the female and figure-hugging trousers and snug jacket for the male.

Basic dances include alegrias, soleares, bulerias and farruca.

Flamenco enjoyed a major revival in the Eighties with films featuring flamenco such as ?Carmen? and ?Blood Wedding?

Recently Flamenco Fusion has emerged which combines the traditional dance with hip-hop music

Useful websites