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What Is Flamenco? A Complete Introduction

What is flamenco? It’s both a musical style and a dance typical of Andalucía, the southern region of Spain. Originally, it was the traditional dance and music of the Andalusian gitanos (gypsies). Even though flamenco is still deeply connected to the gypsy culture, many payos (non-gypsies) have contributed to expand it both in Spain and overseas.

The history of flamenco date back from the 18th century. It’s said to emerge in the occidental area of Andalucía (Seville, Cordoba, Huelva). Unfortunately, the available resources and data are very limited and enforce just a few theories.

 

An Empathetic And Deep Art

Flamenco is a state of mind, an art form that conveys the deepest emotions, usually melancholy and sadness.

In fact, it remains a quest for authenticity, for the pure expression of those human feelings that are both uniquely, intimately personal, and universally shared.

Despite the final result has nothing to do, flamenco and blues have many similarities. Both are very profound musical styles, where the lyrics often express loneliness and heartbreak stories. Actually, these styles rely on the performer’s ability to reach the audience.

Words can’t describe the feelings stirred by flamenco. Even if it’s the first time you listen to a song or watch a bailaora, something inside you changed as the music and the singing penetrate you.

It can either give you the goose pimples or you can’t stand it. You’ll surely “hate it or love it”!

And if you do love it, you’ll reach a unique bond with the artist. This is known as the duende. It means spirit and it’s the soul force inspiring flamenco art.

 

Seville Night Tour With Tablao Flamenco

Explore Seville’s most important highlights and admire them with their gorgeous lightning. This evening walk will also take you around the romantic cobbled alleys of the Barrio de Santa Cruz, a very picturesque area. It’s the best introduction you can have to this beautiful city

After that, dine at a tablao flamenco where you will experience a real show performed by some of the best professionals in town. Everything is included -hotel pick-up and delivery, dinner with tapas, and tickets to the flamenco show.

Book Your Seville Night Tour With Tablao Flamenco »

 

A Wide Variety Of Expression Forms And Styles

Flamenco can be expressed by either:

  • Singing. A cantaor sing with his (or her) heart and soul.
  • Dancing. Elegance and grace are only meant to the best bailaores and bailaoras. You’ll see their rhythm in their arms, feet and whole body.
  • Playing the Spanish guitar. The performer relies on its intuition to improvise rather than applying this or that technique. He (it’s very rare to see a woman) needs to blend with the rest of the cuadro.

In fact, the heart of flamenco is the cante, the art of singing. The most compelling performance is surprisingly plain: a unique cantaor and one guitarrist, both in perfect harmony and sat at wooden chairs facing the public and sharing their loneliness.

And while this might be the simpliest form of expression, traditional flamenco has a wide range of music styles.

These styles are called palos and are classified into 3 groups: Cante Grande (or Jondo), Cante Chico and Cante Intermedio.

 

Experience The Best Flamenco In Seville

Visiting the Museo del Baile Flamenco provides a complete overview on the subject. This museum was created thanks to the initiative of the famous flamenco dancer Cristina Hoyos and it opened its doors in 2006.

Seville is considered one of the main flamenco’s cradle. Hence, the number of venues and places where performances take place is endless.

Tablaos are a good option as an introduction to flamenco. You’ll see a large group performing a very professional choreography and music, and women wearing beautiful dresses.

If you are looking for a less conventional show, why not trying other venues where excellent flamenco performances take place?

Finally, for a full immersion experience, go to one of the flamenco bars scattered around the center and Triana. These are the places where only Sevillanos know about and go to.

Book Your Flamenco Show At Museo del Baile Flamenco In Seville »