Flamenco dancing is one of the most well-known art forms in Spain. And though this style of dancing has a history that dates back centuries, it remains as popular today as it ever was. But what is flamenco dancing?
If you are considering a move to Spain, you should familiarise yourself with the culture. Flamenco dancing is a great place to start. Learning more about flamenco dancers and what they do will help you feel more connected to the country overall. You may even be inspired to take lessons yourself!
Below, we're providing a guide to help you learn everything you need to know about flamenco dance. Read on to learn more, so you can feel more connected to Spain's rich flamenco dancing culture.
1. The History of Flamenco Dancing
Flamenco dancing dates back to the 15th century, when the Gitanos arrived in the Iberian Peninsula of Spain. By the time they reached this destination, they had traveled throughout the world and learned different styles of folk dances. Flamenco is the result of all of those different styles combined.
Flamenco gained recognition as an art form of cultural importance in the 19th century, when the Romantic era reached Europe. As its popularity grew, Flamenco bars and cafes opened, and today flamenco can be enjoyed throughout Spain and beyond.
2. The Elements of Flamenco
There are three elements that comprise of flamenco as we understand it today. There's the toque--the flamenco guitar--the cante--the singing--and the baile--the flamenco dancing.
A traditional flamenco guitar is made from Spanish cypress and spruce, and is different from a classical guitar in that it is smaller and lighter. The songs that accompany flamenco dancing are typically composed of verses that are poems. These songs follow strict musical rules.
The dancing is the most recognisable element of flamenco, which is why it might be surprising to learn that flamenco is always improvised. While studying flamenco does require hard work and dedication, the dances are never choreographed.
3. Where to See Flamenco Today
Because flamenco is now so popular throughout Spain, it can be found almost everywhere. Still, there are some areas that are truly notable.
Madrid is a popular city for flamenco dancing, because there are so many small venues that can accommodate flamenco performances. Jerez de la Frontera, on the other hand, is a smaller city that serves as home to Spain's national flamenco archive and hosts lively performances.
Seville and Granada are two more cities that are known as great flamenco destinations.
Ready to Experience Flamenco Dance for Yourself?
If you want a vacation home in Spain or are planning on a permanent move, you should take the time to immerse yourself in the most popular aspects of Spanish culture. Gaining a deeper understanding of flamenco dance is a great place to start.
Whether you aspire to be a performer or just enjoy being an observer, you can't have a true Spanish experience without flamenco.
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