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Whoever in the world did not hear about a wonderfully beautiful and passionate flamenco dance? This incredible dance is Spanish carte-de-visite born in Andalusia. As it was spread through the lower classes of Andalusia’s society it became a dance of poor and oppressed initially. Due to such origin, the history of this dance features some blank spots because historians failed to register many details of the dance’s “biography’ on the reason of its modest creators. In the following paper, the details concerning the history of flamenco along with two theories concerning its beginning will be discussed. Overall, the evaluation of the situation reveals that flamenco has its source in a cultural fusion of a few nations including gypsies and native people from Andalusia.
Flamenco is a “Spanish music and dance typical of the Gypsy, or Gitano. Flamenco dancing is characterized by colorful costumes, intense and erotic movements, stamping of the feet (zapateado), and clapping of the hands (palmate) (“Flamenco” 17404). The origin of this dancing style and music is not too distant. “Flamenco music is believed to have originated in the early 16th century from the canto Hondo [Spanish=deep song] of Andalusia, a highly emotional and tragic type of song accompanied by a guitar.” (“Flamenco” 17404). There exist two major theories of its beginning. The most spread one describes this dance as a reflection of the Kathak dance coming from Indian culture. It is believed that nomad tribes from India also called gypsies brought this dance as a part of their cultural heritage from their motherland. The other popular theory describes flamenco as a result of cultural fusion between the gypsies, the Moors, the Jews, and the native people from Andalusia. In the fifteenth century, the first three nations were persecuted and oppressed. They shared their pain in their folklore which was noticed by the poor people of the land and used for the creation of flamenco dance and music. In a few centuries, the music and dancing culture called flamenco became so popular in the country that it was played in public places such as cafes called cantante and during important events including wedding feasts, birthday ceremonies, etc. Of course, flamenco had to go through different periods in its popularity. It happened that it was believed to be out of fashion a few times in its history. Nowadays, flamenco is very popular around the world. It has different styles including some of the most popular between them of Alboreá, Alegrías, Bulerías, Cantes a palo seco, Fandango, Flamenco rumba, Martinetes, New Flamenco, Saeta, Sevillanas, Soleá and Verdiales. The dance is much spread in the world and is considered to be a part of human civilization’s heritage by UNESCO.
Concluding on all the above-discussed information it should be stated that the beautiful dance and music of flamenco originated in the Spanish region called Andalusia has quite a long history. It originated in the fifteenth century as the music of poor and oppressed people. Through the years, the dance was not very popular due to its modest origin. However, nowadays, it is spread all over the world and considered to be a part of human civilization’s heritage by UNESCO. In so many countries Flamenco became even more popular than it was in its motherland. In this vein, Japan is the country where the biggest amount of flamenco dancing schools is found. There exist many styles of flamenco dancing including Cantes a palo seco, Fandango, Flamenco rumba, Martinetes, New Flamenco, Saeta, Sevillanas, Soleá and Verdiales.
“Flamenco.” The Columbia Encyclopedia. 6th ed. 2009. Questia. Web.
Schreiner, Claus, ed. Flamenco: Gypsy Dance and Music from Andalusia. Portland, OR: Amadeus Press, 1990. Questia. Web.