Flamenco is an individualistic, yet structured folk art from Andalusía, Spain. It is often improvised and spontaneous, the song, dance and guitar are blended together by the passionate rhythms of southern Spain.Gypsies say " it's in the blood", but Spain's famous poet and writer Fredrico Garcia Lorca, called flamenco one of the most gigantic inventions of the Spanish people. The tragic lyrics and tones of flamenco clearly reflect the sufferings of the gypsy people. It is thought that the gypsies who ended up in Andalucía travelled from India and Pakistan acquiring the name "gitano" from Egiptano, the old Spanish word for Egyptian.
The source of flamenco lies in its singing tradition, so the singer's role is very important. The flamenco guitar was used originally as an instrument of accompaniment. Today solo flamenco guitar has developed as a separate art. Whilst some purists disapprove of the fashionable attempts to blend flamenco with jazz, blues, rock and pop music, it is no wonder that so many young people embrace it wholeheartedly. Apart from songs delivered from different regions such as fandangos from Huelva, Alegrias from Cadiz, there are broadly speaking two main styles in Flamenco: the "jondo" - profound and serious, the cry of people oppressed for many centuries; and the "chico" - happy, light and often humorous. The song "el cante" is most important as it is considered to be the source which gives inspiration to the guitar playing "el toque" and the dance "el baile". Flamenco dance is by nature oriental, so differs fundamentally from other well established European dance forms. 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. The ladies wear long costumes often with many frills and practice for hours their elegant arm and hand movements. The upper body must emphasis grace and posture. In much of the more serious...
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