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Flamenco, a means of escape which evokes sadness, installs a remote sense of irony and ridicule, makes a mockery of paradoxes and above all symbolises a way of life. Its name originates from the arrogant attitude of the councillors at the court of Charles V or from the haughty behaviour of those dancers who still remembered the rigidity of flamenco. The reasons behind its name have not been forgotten. Flamenco is not an explanation but an expression of denial for those most passionate about the song “jondo”. It often becomes the focal point of street parties with dancers strutting their stuff and brushing their way past others. This unique type of music was born from the musical genius of the most marginalised and persecuted of all Spanish people: the gypsies.
The gypsies originated from the north of India and came to the Iberian Peninsula around 1440. They mixed with the humble town, which consisted of Muslims and Jews who had not yet fled the reconquest of Spain. These nomadic beggars, craftsman and horse sellers enriched their art with liturgic Jewish songs and throaty Arabic voices. The Gregorian Byzantine songs were taken from Mozarabs, and Christians who lived in Arabic areas were forced to worship the caliphate.
The three traditional types of music and the terrible suffering which occurred gave birth to witchcraft that became immortalised in the song jondo. The man sang to free himself from the treachery of a loved one, the anxiety of loneliness and the vibrant rage of living with his condition.
The women interpret the movements with total sincerity to create a song which accentuates the rhythm of the hands and feet. The magic of the song is that it releases the tormented soul. The songs were traditionally passed on orally and because the singer has his own unique way of interpreting the music, every song sounds different. This music became popular again in the 19th century with the appearance of the first cafes with entertainment. One of the most memorable cafes was owned by Silverio Franconetti in Triana. At this time the singer was normally accompanied by a guitarist, a singer and a dancer. If they were really good and spontaneous the flamenco could reach a professional level.
Don´t forget to visit the Flamenco Dance Museum. (See Museums)
SEVILLE - El Flamenco. Information and photos of El Flamenco in SEVILLE. SOL Spain On Line.
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