Fun with Flamenco

Posted by on Oct 15, 2015 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

CasteroRomero Flamenco

CasteroRomero Flamenco

“Three Siblings, Two Dynasties, One Passion.”
CastroRomero Flamenco

Recently Linda, my husband Doug, and I helped celebrate a friend’s birthday by seeing a performance of this extraordinary group at San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts. Now, before these Living Cultural Treasures (so designated by Spain) go off to Russia to perform sold-out events at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater, I am resolved to learn more about this deeply Spanish art form—and to seeing more of it in Seville.

Flamenco Facts so Far:
1. Although the word flamenco came into use in the 18th century, the music itself—song, instruments and dance—developed in Andalusia from the 8th to the 15th centuries, when Spain was under Arab domination. Jews, Christians and Gypsies all adapted it to their own traditions.
2. Originally it was only vocal music, accompanied by “toque de palmes”—handclapping.
3. Flamenco schools began between 1765 and 1860 in three locations: Cadiz, Jérez de la Frontera and Triana, or Seville, and created a formal ballroom style.
4. During the Golden Age, 1869-1910, flamenco flourished in cafés, and it became normal for performers to express deep feelings.
5. From 1910 t0 1955, Flamenco singing was marked by “opéra flamenca” and an easier-going kind of music, such as fandango, that showed marked South American influence.

Questions So Far:
1. Which influenced which, stylized flamenco dancing or stylized bullfighters doing the same moves?
2. How do they DO that anyway? (Meaning vocals, footwork and arm/hand gestures in a league with Balinese dancers).

2 Comments

  1. Ah-ha! Ole! You’ve thrown down the fan! I will attempt to learn to dance flamenco (is flamenco a verb as well?) by March! It beats running.

  2. Johanna, I would love to take a Flamenco class in Sevilla. Anyone know of a place that offers one-time classes for beginners?

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