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Culture in Spain: Flamenco


flamenco dancer flamenco guitaristFlamenco is a folk art, around 200 years old. It is from Southern Spain and is individualistic, yet structured. Song, dance and guitar are blended into passionate rhythms which are often improvised and spontaneous. Flamenco will have any imaginable theme, from up to date stories, to politics, to love, to history, to humor, etc. Often however, the tragic lyrics and tone of flamenco reflect the sufferings of the gypsy people from whom it originated

Flamenco exists in three forms: Cante, the song, Baile, the dance, and Guitarra, guitar playing. The source of Flamenco, however, lies in the tradition of singing. The singers' role is very important with the guitar playing an accompaniment to the song. Today the solo guitar flamenco has developed into a separate art and is fashionably blended with jazz, blues and pop music.

Flamenco dance has complex patterns of rhythm and sophisticated footwork with the upper body emphasising grace and posture.

The songs of flamenco are from different regions as: Fandangos from Huelva; and Alegrias from Cadiz. There are two main styles in Flamenco: "jondo" - the serious and deep meaning, the cry of oppressed people; and "chico" happy, light and often humorous. The ideal in flamenco is called "duende" (demon or elf), which is a state of emotional involvement, group communication at a deep level and a feeling of sympathy, between musicians, dancers and listeners.



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