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


Anonymous said...

Very insightful

Graeme said...

interesting. My people do riverdance style dancing.not very erotic. in fact, it can down right be unerotic.

Mike Ballard said...

I love flamenco. There's a sexual tension in the air, a pride and of course the stacatto rhythms. Never made an investigation into the origins. Just assumed that it was a leftover of the Muslim dominated era before 1492 in southern Spain.

BTW, I like Piazzolla's stuff and the tango too.

glenda said...

Jose Greco and his son came to Austin in the late 80s, eraly 90s and his son taught children's classes. My daughter was studying ballet and took lessons from him. My mother, a Spanish teacher, danced in the Baile Folklorico for decades, even touring South America once.

pinkfem said...

Never knew about the history of the India connection. wow. Thanks.

Agnes said...

Excellent post, Ren. I love flamenco. In jazz, one of my all time favorites is Ysabel's Tabledance by Mingus.

Pink, the Gipsy origin is quite well-known. And many Romas still speak Hindi and have a basic Sanskrit here. (I was quite surprised to find out, but even 6 yo children spoke Hindi. Where and how did they learn it, a mistery. )

Anonymous said...

I recently saw Ojos de Brujo at the Barbican, why they were joined by one of Asian Dub Foundation for a mix of their Flamenco hiphop thing with some sort of Indian Tabla fucking thing. It was a really unexpected combination, and it sounded fucking great.

Anonymous said...

Oh sorry, I also meant to say that that was really really interestring, what you wrote.

billie said...

breathtaking photo and very interesting post. thanks

? said...

Thanks for the insight.

sokari said...

Beautiful photo. I came to Andaclucia, I saw flamenco, I love flamenco, I stayed in Andalucia.

My loves: Sara Baras - powerful, strong, demanding, fast incredible. Eva Yerbabuena - the most sensual women I have ever come across, words fail me.

Jobove - Reus said...

Thank you for your post on the Fleming
Regards friend