A Guide to Flamenco Dancing
By Viator, August 2012
Think of Andalucia, and certain Spanish archetypes spring to mind: splendid Moorish architecture, bullfighting, mouth-watering tapas…and flamenco. A visit to the region would be unthinkable without catching a flamenco show, for it’s this expressive and passionate dance that best embodies the Andalucían spirit.
Flamenco’s origins are hard to pin down, but most music historians credit Andalucía’s gitano (gypsy) population with its creation. While gypsies arrived in the region around the Middle Ages, it wasn’t until the 18th century that flamenco as we know it emerged. More than likely, the gitanos also absorbed musical influences from the local Moorish and Jewish cultures along the way: certainly, flamenco’s proud, heartfelt and sometimes desperate lyrics echo the persecution all three peoples suffered during the Spanish Inquisition. Another defining factor was the introduction of the classical guitar in Spain. It was a case of love at first strum, and flamenco is now unimaginable without six-stringed accompaniment.