Flamenco Dance in Spain
The flamenco dance in Spain is an authentic form of Spanish art, specifically an art of the Southern Spanish. The dance presents three forms, namely el cante or the song, el baile or the dance, and la guitarra or the guitar playing. The gypsies are frequently attributed with the creation of the flamenco dance in Spain, whether partly or greatly, it is a fact that they played a vital part in its beginnings. The famous Andalusia songs and dances also had a major weight on early flamenco.
The Andalusian ethnicity had several imprints of passing cultures such as the well-known Tartessos, and afterwards the Muslim ‘nine-century’ occupation. Both had an impact on the flamenco dance in Spain, directly and indirectly. The first mention of flamenco in writing was in 1774 in Las Cartas Marreucas of Cadalso.
The Golden Age from 1869 to 1910, paved way for the flamenco dance rising into its ultimate form during the era’s countless music cafés or cafés cantantes. The most powerful form of the flamenco dance in Spain disabled dating from this epoch was the cante jondo, which expressed profound feelings. The art of the flamenco dance in Spain in the Cafés Cantantes mounted to new statures as dancers of flamenco became the main draw.
The guitar playing or la guitarra’s role in the flamenco dance in Spain attained its crest during the years of café cantante with the guitar becoming an important part of the art. Flamenco singing was manifested through the opera flamenco, with a simpler type of music such as fandangos and songs of South American influences such as cantes de ida y vuelta.
The contemporary flamenco dance of Spain often illustrates sways from other types of music such as bossa nova, jazz, salsa, and others, with changes on women dancers frequently displaying their personality more than the artistry. The flamenco guitar that used to be an important background part of the art has also become a recognized art of its own, with Paca de Lucia as one of the most significant individual to lead the way for flamenco guitar art.
Although the flamenco dance of Spain has been brought to international stage, its spirit always has and always will be an intimate form of dance and music. The next time you visit Spain, make sure to witness an authentic flamenco dance in a juerga in the southern part of Spain, where the voice, the guitar, and the body movement of the dancer is all that matters under the moonlight.
Image by Naveed Dadan