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The History Of Flamenco Dancing, A Widely Appreciated Spanish Art

The history of flamenco dancing is fascinating. From the original performers, repudiated farmworkers to international stars, flamenco enthusiasts have played a key role in transmitting it. It’s the victory of sensibility over sense.

Flamenco is based on a triangle: singing, playing guitar and dancing. All 3 are dependent on each other and it’s rare to see a performance where one of these cultural expressions is missing.

Probably the best known art form of flamenco is its dancing style.

Why not attending an espectáculo flamenco? You can either go to a tablao, a bar flamenco or some other venue!


Flamenco Started In The Countryside

The history of flamenco dancing dates back from the 18th century, despite some scholars claim that it existed long before that. It’s said that it has roots from all the medieval cultures that inhabited Spain. Thus, it’s a dance that intermingles features from the local musical culture and many others thanks to the influences travellers brought back to Spain from the colonies.

Nevertheless, gypsies were the major spreading actors of the flamenco dance. They were able to successfully merge such a wide variety of rhythms in one.

Until the end of the 18th century, gypsies were part of the lower social classes. They were marginalized and chased for centuries. This sentiment of suffering and rejection is one of the bases of the drama surrounding flamenco dancing.


Experience The Best Flamenco In Seville

Feel the passion and energy of flamenco that come alive nightly! Enjoy a 1.5-hour show in which you will get to see how this universal art works and understand why all local and foreigners love this traditional dance.

You’ll experience flamenco sounds, rhythms and dances in a very intimate and authentic place. The artists will make sure you feel their passion and will captivate you with their deep emotions. It will be a night you will never forget…

Book Your Flamenco Show At Tablao Álvarez Quintero In Seville »


But Soon Became Extremely Popular

In 1783, King Charles III regulated the social exclusion of the gypsy community. Little by little, they began to integrate -not without difficulty- to the Spanish society. As their visibility increased, gypsies performed their songs and dances not only privately but also for larger audiences.

During the first half of the 19th century, Andalucia and the gypsy character caused fascination among Spaniards and young European Romantics. This character was a synonym of independence and uniqueness. The description of flamenco parties written by these travellers resulted in the massive expansion of flamenco.

Thanks to this, flamenco dancing was publicly performed in cafes cantantes first (during a period also known as opera flamenca), and in larger venues later on. As a result, it became so popular that there were flamenco shows everywhere. The excess was such that spectators stopped attending and flamenco almost

Fortunately, new influences and major artists of the 1950s recover the original spirit of flamenco and from then on it has been considered an art.


From Amateurs To Virtuous Performers

The history of flamenco dancing has had a constant evolution for the past 250 years. According to the experts, there have been 4 different periods:

  • Initially, flamenco artists weren’t professionals. Quite the contrary, actually! Dancers generally performed at the tavern patios or at a relative’s house. One or several guitar players accompanied the dancers and late night parties lighted by candles were organized.
  • From the 1850s flamenco dancers were more professional. Wooden platforms were introduced to enhance the taconeo and zapateado. However, the repertory was scarce and only a few palos were known.
  • With the arrival of the opera flamenca, dancing lost the leading role compared to singing.
  • In the mid-20th century, flamenco dancing emerged back from darkness and it was integrated in innovative choreographies called ballets flamencos. These were the result of mixing traditional flamenco and
    new musical waves. From then on, great flamenco dancers have contributed to the dancing style’s evolution and its international recognition.


Seville Night Tour & Flamenco Show

Discover the best of Seville after dark and enjoy an electrifying flamenco show on this 4-hour evening tour. Traveling by air-conditioned coach, admire top Seville attractions such as the Plaza de España, the Torre del Oro, the Maestranza and other landmarks all aglitter in the darkness of evening.

To end a lovely night, experience a colorful and passionate flamenco show in one of Seville’s most acclaimed tablaos (flamenco bars). Some of the most famous bailaores and bailaoras started their career in Seville. You might discover a new shining star!

Book A Seville Night Tour & Flamenco Show »