Flamenco From Barcelona and Madrid Spain to Argentina. Check out these great links for more Flamenco information: www.repertorio.org and www.theatermania.com.Gypsy beauty and very sensual. "Male or female" It doesn't matter. Flamenco is unique. Fire and passion.
From centuries ago gypsies had bad reputations. They were unaccepted. Known as bewitched. Some performers actually ripped their shirts off, transferring this energy out into the audience. Having the same action repeated back. Gypsy's loved releasing all inhibitions by dancing around a fire in the evening. Moving up to highly respected cafe's, onto the theatrical stage.
Flamenco first known as gitano. Is dance and song together. A solo female dancer's movements are of the upper body and arms. Hands are an important form of expression. She arches her body back from the waist. Hips move gracefully, no big exaggerated movements. Finger snapping at times. Castanets (finger cymbals) are used at times to enhance the rhythm of the dance. The face usually expresses seriousness. Traditional costumes worn are long dresses and shawls. A solo male dancer's movements are positioning the body straight, bending backwards slightly, arms are curved. Using his legs, the footwork is very strong. Also finger tapping (Pitos). He is projecting to the audience, his masculinity and dignity. Traditional costumes are a high cut jacket and trousers. Red and black are the colors most often used. These two colors represent strength.Male and female due perform together at times. Two or three dancers are used usually. More at times. Expressing emotions such as love, anger and jealousy towards each other.
Legendary female dancers have opened the doors for lady's performing Flamenco today, by combining both male and female movements. Also wearing the male short jacket and trousers. With out every loosing their femininity.
Broad categories most commonly used are 1)baile grande expressing tragedy, helplessness. Using slow and more serious dances. 2) baile intermedio and 3)baile chico expressing playfulness, cheerful and light. In a flash the mood can change to despair. Lighter dances can rapidly move into strong footwork, along with arms.In more recent times. Flamenco (New World) music and styles have changed, influenced by more popular traditions such as jazz and reggae. Music from India, along with African and Arabic are now used a lot. Also Caribbean music creating a funky sound and rumba style. Hips are more seductive, moving much faster. And flashier footwork is used.Spain is still very strong in preserving its Old World authenticity.Flamenco and the spiritual world. There is a close connection between the dancer and the bullfighter. The bullfighter incorporated his training from the ring and applied it into a dance. Inside the ring opposite the bull. The bullfighter is considered equal of a priest. Man alone against the bull-confronting fate. Truly a spiritual magical mystery. Both have a strong flame and connection to the Crucifixion. And are constantly battling inside with their souls. Every gesture, twirling of the skirt, particular hand and finger positions in a specific way is a spiritual release into heaven