Flamenco is a form of art that has origins in Andalucia, Spain. Flamenco is one of the most popular dances and music form in Costa Tropical but the sad part is that somewhere along its evolution process, the exact details of its origin were lost. Some historians feel that this form of art came up during the early 1500’s during the reign of Charles V. The name Flamenco is probably derived from the fact that the dancer’s wear bright clothing but history does tell us this exactly.
There is another school of thought who believes that Flamenco refers to the word Flemish, which was the nationality bestowed up on the Gypsies. There is yet another group of people who feel that the name has been inspired from the Arabic fellah mangu, which means the laborer who sings.
The characteristics of Flamenco
Flamenco is predominantly a dance form that combines singing, playing the acoustic guitar, chanting, and staccato handclapping. A flamenco dancer has to perform this dance with passion and has to sometimes bring out forceful expressions while maintaining dignity and grace at all times.
Handclapping in flamenco produces a piercing sound. The dancer doing the flamenco starts by absorbing the rhythm created by the clapping, strumming and singing and ideally starts to dance when he/she is completely inspired.
Flamenco dancing is quite similar to American jazz but requires improvisation. The quality of the dance is dependent on the spontaneous expression that the dancer can bring out momentarily or to any given beat. In Spain this is called duende (DWEN-day). The word duende stands for fairy or a goblin in Spanish but it signifies an inner force that helps the flamenco dancer to give an inspired performance.
Types of Flamenco
There are several varieties of flamenco songs that exist in Costa Tropical. Some of them are mere laments and one of the classical types is called the petenera. The Petenera is a story of a beautiful girl from Andalucia whose name is also Petenera and who is responsible for bringing tragedy to her own self as well as her village.
Some of the flamenco songs have been named after several Costa Tropical towns depending on their popularity. Some of the flamenco songs are malagueñas (Malagá), granadinas (Grenada), sevillanas (Seville) and rodeñas (Ronda). The dancers and location might differ from one area to another but the one thing that remains at the heart of flamenco is emotion.
The various influences
Flamenco has been influenced by people, regions and stories. From the Pyrenees Mountains running across the Spanish-French border to the Mediterranean coast; stories have poured into Costa Tropical and with each story is attached human emotion and these emotions have influenced flamenco deeply.
Flamenco blends different influences that can be considered a mix of the threnodies of Greek mourners, Hindu dances, and the mimes of Imperial Rome.
These days you can get an opportunity to watch flamenco in Granada City on weekends but this is one of the few art forms that will remain a mystery forever.