Flamenco

Flamenco is an individualistic folk art, a genuine Southern art form, which was mainly originated by Andalusian gypsies. It exists in 3 forms: El cante, song, el baile, dance and guitarrra, guitar playing. Its roots also are with Arabs, Spanish Jews and socially outcasted Christians. The flamenco essence is song, which is usually accompanied by guitar and improvised dance. Complex rhythmic patterns and sophisticated footwork differs from other European dance forms.

The word "flamenco" has been questioned on why an Adalucian music form would be represented by a word that meant Flemish or flamingos. Most believe that it was Carlos I who brought with him to Spain from Flanders an entire Flemish court. These Flemish court men, on their spare time, partied with the gypsies. The two were groups were called Flemish which later translated into flamencos and as their dance culture blossomed, the word stuck.

The dance music of flamenco is often divided into 3 categories: jondo, chico, or cante. Jondo is a word that means profound or serious. The music of this sort is usually intensely sad having to do with death, anguish or despair and also characterized as the cry of oppressed people for many years. Chico means light and deals with love, gaiety, humor or the countryside. El Cante is the most important which inspires "el toque" guitar playing and \'el baile."
An example of a jondo would be a more serious flamenco in which hatred of persecution or an evocation of death is expressed in order to project a mood without interpreting the meaning o f the song with certain gesture. This is often called Seguiriyas.

Seguiriyas is the oldest written example of flamenco found in the 18th century. Called an indecent dance by Henry Swinburne of 1779, seguiriyas is one of the many still surviving non-Gypsy flamenco dances.

The many types of cante are similar in the fact that they may share the same rhythm. Although, they are proved to be very individual in their accentuation and emotional content. The ancestry of el cante is traced back to the serious forms called Canas and Soleares. From these two, stemmed Alegrias, which was a lighter form. From the Gypsy culture came Albireas, which was only sung at weddings. Spanish folk songs and dance the Arab influences and Latin America has influenced many later genres such as Rumbas, Gitano, and the Columbianos. Black culture played a large role in the formation of many Latin American music types.


Though Flamenco has very much been acquired by Arabs, Indians, Jews, Gypsies and the Africans the source of flamenco dance lies in the singing and guitar traditions. Originally, the guitar served as the companion of flamenco dances. Today flamenco guitar has developed into its own art. Like many other music forms and styles, flamenco has recently been mixed with jazz, blues, rock and pop music. This form is embraced by younger people but discarded by a somewhat older "purists."

16th century dance included chacona, zerabanda and the fandango found in Andalucian provinces. This music was very enjoyed on holidays and fiestas. It was
usually danced by couples, in groups and with orchestras. The motivation for Andalucian people was festive joy and communal celebration.
 INCLUDEPICTURE "http://www.flamenco.org/dancers.gif" * MERGEFORMATINET From 1910 to 1950 Flamenco singing emerged as fandangos and cantes de ida y vuelta. These songs were influences of South America. In 1915 flamenco shows were being organized all over the world along with the Falla, a contest that promoted cante jondo, usually held in Granada.

By 1955, a Flamenco Renaissance had begun. Many outstanding soloists made their ways to cafes, theaters, and concert houses. The career of the guitarists also took a turn for the better.

The very first flamenco artist was found in Madrid in 1853. In 881 "Coleciones de cantes flamencos" was published by Antonio Machado and Alvarez. Although the two were on of the first to introduce flamenco dance to the world, they were not the greatest. Two of the greatest artists who are said to have brought about the evolution of flamenco are Caron and Paco. The duo worked together for 25 years. Paco de Lucia and Manalo Sanlucar received recognition for their guitar playing. Antonio Gades and Mario Maya were mentioned for their dance and Camaron and Enrique Morente were known for