Sunday, May 21, 2006
A Perspective of Flamenco Music and Dance
This is a sonia-belle(adults only) moment.
Between 800-900 AD, a large migration of of Untouchables from the Punjabi region of India, consisting of animal traders and trainers, acrobats, dancers, musicians, palmist and metalworking journeyed. They were called Roman/Gypsy. It is known that atleast part of them, roamed through Asia, to Europe, and landed in Spain. A second group came to Southern Spain, from North Africa. The second group had dark skin, and more the customs of the indigenous people along their route. To this day, both groups of nomads, do not mingle or intermarry.
During the Inquisition in Spain, Gypsies of both groups, were forced into ghettos. The isolation and repression, preserved the purity of the music. In the 18th century, they were granted more freedom, and the art form developed more.
If you have observed East Indian dance; you'll notice the footwork consists of stomping with feet, in a manner often found in flamenco. The other influences include Arab music, Jewish synagogue music, West African slave music, Latin American, Spanish folkloric, and Islamic elements.
Flamenco dance is in 2/4 rhythms. It doesn't have the pelvic movements of Middle Eastern dance. The open knees are an African influence. Flamenco started as a singing and clapping form.
Argentine tango has a connection to flamenco. Certain strains of tango, is adopting flamenco guitar, to an orchestra, with modifications of rhythm. The early tango was called tango flamenco.
I read a theory, that in the Philippines, the Spanish forbid studying martial arts. The natives practiced flamenco dance, to practice kicks and arm movements.
Nuevo flamenco is the modern form, popular in Spain, that incorporates rock, jazz, techno etc.
Unfortunately enjoying and participating in the arts, is a class priviledge. Despite the indigenous origins of this form, it is confined to performances locales as expensive restaurants.
See Spanish Gypsy and Flamenco Dance History.RENEGADE EYE
Posted by Frank Partisan at 7:40 PM