Thursday, February 5, 2009

Flamenco, More Fashionable Than Ever


Flamenco is the typical music and dance of Andalusia. It is worldwide famous and a deeply admired art that transcends borders. This has been soaked up by a multitude of trends without losing its personality. But perhaps its most important feature is the strong link that binds it to its audience, who lives it in a sentimental and emotional way. This sensibility arrives directly to the heart, even for those who discover it for the first time. So, it is known as "arte jondo", as it delves into the most deep feelings or as "arte gitano" (gypsy art) because the influence they have with its origin and development.

Flamenco is the result of a sum of musical cultures that have developed in Spain for over two centuries: Jewish music, Arabic music, Spanish music, the ancient Andalusian music and of course, gypsy music.

In flamenco the feelings are more important than the aesthetics. The artist's capacity to reach the public and to generate emotions is extremely important. In fact, the song begins with a pitiful whimper, known as "quejío" which helps to tune the singer's voice and prepares the listener emotionally. The flamenco dance is very expressive and depends entirely on the guitar, which provides the beat and the rhythm. This is an introverted, individual dance, full of feelings and improvisation. The "toque flamenco" fixes its attention in the Andalusian gipsy guitar, which has become its most avant-garde and admired facet. Besides the guitar, there are other instruments (like the drums) and accompaniments (like the clapping) that play an important role.

There are thousands of tourists who come to Spain with the unique purpose of enjoying this beautiful art. But there are many artists who export flamenco over the Spanish borders. In addition, the mass media spreads its force throughout the five continents. Despite this universality, Andalusia continues being its cradle and its capital

Nowadays, flamenco is fusing with other music styles. Some people think that the desire to renew it and the excessive orchestration have lost authenticity to the music of flamenco. But some bands such as Pata Negra, Ketama, Navajita Plateá, Ojos de Brujo, etc., have proved that the new flamenco is very self-confident. They have fused the pure flamenco with elements of jazz, salsa, pop or rock. Nonetheless, there are opinions for and against this emerging style.

Either way, this art is in fashion. Both jondo as well as the new, they gain fans worldwide. Would you like to discover its most pure style? Travel to Andalusia and discover it. Stay in Seville apartments and listen: Seville sounds like flamenco!

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