Monday, 20 July 2015

Understanding Flamenco Dance Form


Flamenco dancing is not known till the 18th century. This dance was popular among the Andalusia gypsies of Spain. The dance form was inspired by diverse cultures of Byzantine, Moorish, and Sephardic. The dance form is supported outside Cuba, and the contribution to the styles comes from Jewish and Moorish cultures. Flamenco dance flourished between 1869 and 1910. Flamenco dance was showcased in cafes, and people had to pay to watch the performance. Literature has it that Cadiz performed flamenco dance with percussion instrument called castanet. This was recorded in the writing of Pliny and Strabo. Earlier the dance was performed to restricted audience, but later it was expanded to a larger group. Flamenco festival happens every summer where people showcase their expertise.

Black and red color costume is common while performing this dance. White and navy blue are also used by certain groups of dancers. The dancers also wear high heel shoes during the performance. Men wear tight fitted tuxedos and stretch pants. The flamenco dance comes in three different types that include guitarra, baile, and cante. The last two are more or less similar in movements. There is no music accompanied with the dance and people sing and clap spontaneously called ‘toque de palmas’. During the modern days, musical instruments accompany the dance form. Moreover, the dance steps vary depending on the mood of the dancers. The dancers also kick their feet to express their emotions and at times it can go beyond control and despite this there is no doubt that the dance is performed with utmost poise and accuracy.

Flamenco dancers do not require any form of training and can be passed down to generations. Though, flamenco dance schools were started in 1800 to popularize this dance form. It is an emotional form of dance that is a complete entertainer. These dancers are well adept at expressing their emotions not just by body movements but facial expressions as well. There is no rule book for flamenco dance and the movements are based on the music played or left to the emotions of the dancer. What makes flamenco dance complex is the intricate steps and the nonverbal means of communication with the musician.

Also Read The Metamorphosis Of Ballroom Dance Style Over Generations

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