Flamenco – What does it come from?

What is Flamenco and where does it come from? Well, Flamenco is a noun (plural: flamencos) that refers to a style of dancing that has its origins in Southern Spain and is the music and dance of the Gypsies from Andalusia with its characteristic Flamenco Rhythms. It can refer to both the dance, the music, the instruments, or the emotions related to flamenco. It involves vigorous actions, strong rhythmic music, hand clapping, and feet stamping.

Just check out the following Flamenco Dance Show video recorded at El Palacio Andaluz, Seville, Spain. The dignified poise, the costumes, the hand clapping, and stomping footwork are bedazzling. Watch how the castanets are clicked…

Flamenco is a style vocal and/or instrumental music originating, as said above, in the southern regions of Spain and the intense musical genre is characterized by its improvisatory elements and intense rhythm and is performed by music artists on their own or accompanied by flamenco dancers.

The word “Flamengo” is most probably derived from “Fleming, the native of Flanders, in Dutch: Vlaming) and there are also connections to “flamingo”, the name of the bird. There are many colorful speculations about possible connections between the bird, the gypsy dance, the music, and the people from Andalucia. Well, the fact of the matter is that Spain occupied and ruled Flanders and the Holland territories for quite a few years and King Carlos I brought an entire Flemish Court with him back to Madrid.

There are etymologists that suggest that the dance was called “Flamenco” because of energetic movements and bright and colorful costumes which the Spanish then associated with the region of Flanders. Other etymologists claim that the Spanish, particularly the Andalusians, have a tendency of naming things by opposites.

Well, the Flemish were blond and tall while the Andalucian gypsies were dark and short so they called the gypsies “Flemish”. Others, again, claim that “Flamenco” was the general word in Spanish for foreigners, including gypsies or that Flemish noblemen who were bored with their lives at a court, set out to party with the gypsies.

So Flamenco can refer to the guitar music associated with and/or composed for flamenco dancing, to the Flamenco Dance itself, the so characteristic dancing style of Andalusian Gypsies. Flamenco Music is folk music with its own very rhythmic music style that, as said before, has its origins in Andalucia, in southern Spain and has strong improvisatorial elements. , performed by itself, often on a guitar, or as an accompaniment to flamenco dancing. Flamenco refers to music and/or dance.

Flamenco, first named like that in historical literature in 1774, includes topue, cante, baile, and palmas and the music and dance genre originated from Romani and Andalusian dance styles and music. Often, Flamenco is associated with southern Spain’s Romani people and many famous Flamenco artists are ethnic Romani. Over the last decades, Flamenco enjoyed growing popularity across the globe and in many countries, you now can find Flamenco academies. In Japan, for example, there are more Flamenco academies than in Spain. In 2010, UNESCO enlisted Flamenco as a Masterpiece of World Heritage.

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