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WHAT IS FLAMENCO?

Flamenco is an art form that inspires, educates and entertains, attracting people on many levels due to its intense music and the energetic, vibrant dance it inspires. From the sad song (cante jondo) to the more light and improvised nature of the Bulería, we are reminded of life filled with pride, passion, honor, love, sorrow and ultimately — rejuvenation.

Flamenco history

The evolution of flamenco is bound up with the history of Southern Spain, where over the centuries Europe has mingled with Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas. Multicultural by definition, Flamenco evolved from Moorish, Jewish, Spanish, and Gypsy (now also called Roma) communities which coexisted for centuries in the southern region of Spain, or Andalucía

Flamenco is an art form that inspires, educates and entertains, attracting people on many levels due to its intensity and vibrancy. There is the mournful voice recounting tragic tales of hardship in the face of adversity. There are words which weave together stories of love won and lost, of playfulness, of passion unbridled, and even of death. Other influences from Andaluz folklore - as well as Jewish and Catholic cultures can be found. And of course, there is the Arab tradition, a legacy of the 700-year Moorish occupation of Spain.

Largely improvised, Flamenco meshes cante (song), baile (dance) and compás (rhythm) together to create an eruption of emotion, individual expression, and collective artistry. In a traditional show each performer clearly communicates his or her own specific style to the audience and to the group - not unlike a jazz session. Artists may improvise to impress each other, using this mysterious language, a spontaneity and a camaraderie to truly captivate the outside observer.

Flamenco Today

Today, Flamenco is nothing short of an international phenomenon that inspires, educates and entertains people the world over. There are annual Flamenco Festivals which attract thousands of visitors from all continents. Flamenco fans, or "aficionados," can be found in most any country.

 

Since 2010 Flamenco has been designated a World Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. Whether it's for a friend on the street outside a crowded bar or an 1,800 seat theater, Flamencos universally speak the same language of music, rhythm and dance. 
 

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