“More than just a dance, flamenco is a forceful artistic expression of the sorrows and joys of life.” Flamenco is popular all over Spain, however, it is a uniquely Andalusian art form. This style of dance and expression traces back to the gypsies in the early Middle Ages. However, Flamenco began to take off in the 18th century.
“Flamenco is a name that is used to describe a family of song and dance styles that were created in the huge melding pot of Andalucía, and there are many purists who scorn anything other than pure orthodox flamenco”
The rhythm of flamenco is created through the guitar. Therefore, the dances are not choreographed, rather it is improv. It looks like the dancers have a choreographed performance, but suprisingly it is all based off the rhythm of the guitar and how the dancer(s) are feeling at that time.
I went to a tablao (flamenco club) where there is always four people on stage at once. There is a singer, guitarist, and two dancers. Bailaora is a female dancer and a bailaor is a male dancer. The bailaora is typically the star of the show. It was amazing to watch how fast her feet moved and how her dress moved and flowed with her. The three forms are: Cante, baile, and guitarra. The people on stage clap and stomp their feet very frequently. The singer’s style and voice was unique and harsh sounding (but in a good way).
The Spanish Guitar
The Spanish guitar developed from the traditional guitar. There are slight differences between a classical/traditional guitar and a Spanish guitar. For example, there is a thicker plate below the sound hole in a Spanish guitar. When I went to the flamenco show, the man preformed a long solo and then kept playing throughout the rest of the performance.
I went to the flamenco museum before I saw the flamenco show. There were three levels filled with history. Old flamenco video clips played on big projection screens, art covered the walls, and antique flamenco apparel had its own show room. I read about a few of the preserved dresses. One of them was worn during the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992. This museum has the exact dress that was worn for the Olympics.
Flamenco apparel is actually traditional Andalusian clothing. Flamenco clothing has been around for a long time, but still remains to be an important part of Spanish culture. Traditional flamenco dresses are worn during Feria in April, held in Seville. This is traced back to when Andalusian women went with livestock traders to livestock fairs in Seville.
The art at the Flamenco museum ranged from canvas paintings to photographs to movie clips to decorated guitars. I really liked these three pieces of art:
Angel Idígoras currently lives in Malaga, Spain. I tried learning more about this artist, but I couldn’t find that much information. Here is a link to his Facebook.
I like this watercolor painting by Pedro Moreno because it makes me think of Avery. My dad calls her “Tiny Dancer”. I also like the colors and contrast between the black background.
After the show,
A certain area close to where the flamenco was, people were singing, dancing, and drinking beer while a man was playing his guitar. People gather around this area after a flamenco show frequently. It was fun to see everyone having fun and singing along. I pet a stray dog because he looked like he needed some love, but he has fleas :/. I washed my hands right after and I’m still alive!
I really enjoyed the few hours I spent at Museo del Baile Flamenco and I will definitely be going to another show sometime soon! Fun Fact: They give you free Sangria for the show 🙂
***Bar Julio is a tiny, hole-in-the-wall bar that just got remodeled. If you’re ever looking for 5 beers for 3.50 euro, check out this bar!! They may even let you connect to their bluetooth.. 🙂