Flamenco, Espain Culture

In 1492, under the rule of King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella I, Jews, Gypsies, and Moors were expelled from Espain Culture. Along with native Andalucians, they were forced to take refuge in the Andalucian mountains. There they could escape the Inquisition, which threatened their very survival.  While in exile, the people of these distinct cultures together conceived a new and exciting musical art form, characterized by pride, passion, and defiant dignity. It incorporated acoustic-guitar playing, singing, chanting, dancing, and staccato hand-clapping. This bold, provocative,1 and unique style was named"Flamenco".

Flamenco, Espain

Espain Culture

Considerable debate surrounds the origins of the word"Flamenco". Some believe it simply means"Flemish". Others contend2 that it comes from the Dutch word, vlaming, meaning "fiery","flaming", or"brightly colored". Others trace it back to the Arabic felag mengu, which refers to all persecuted people who fled to the mountains to escape the Inquisition.Oxford University

The intensity of Flamenco inspires a sense of magic, and evokes3 from its audience an intense reaction. The staccato of the dancer's heels against the floor, and the sharp bursts of clapping punctuate the singer's haunting wail. The bright, swirling dresses add to the spectacle, and elicit4 cries of encouragement from the spectators. These elements, along with the musical virtuosity of the guitarists, combine to create a performance which, once seen, is never forgotten.



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