Friday, 6 March 2009

Flamenco Friday....

Have a blameless weekend all.

Flamenco is a Spanish art form with roots deep in Andalusia — Spain’s southern region. Although there are clues as to how this dance and folk music evolved, the details are lost in history. Even the origin of its name is elusive. Some attribute it to the early 1500s and the Flemish courtiers during the reign of Spain’s Charles V.

Their bright clothing inspired the names given things garish or conspicuous, such as flamingoes and flamenco. Others say flamenco — still referring to the Flemish — was the nationality erroneously given by the common people to Gypsies. Still others claim the name comes from the Arabic fellah mangu — the laborer who sings.

Alegrías, danced in this clip, is a flamenco palo or musical form which has a rhythm consisting of 12 beats.

Its beat emphasis is as follows: 1 2 [3] 4 5 [6] 7 [8] 9 [10] 11 [12].

Alegrías originated in Cádiz and is usually played in a lively rhythm (120-170 beats per minute). The livelier speeds are chosen for dancing, while quieter rhythms are preferred for the song alone.

One of the structurally strictest forms of flamenco, a traditional dance in alegrías must contain each of the following sections:

a salida (entrance)
paseo (walkaround)
silencio (similar to an adagio in ballet)
castellana (upbeat section)
zapateado (literally "a tap of the foot")
....and finally bulerías (the rhythm). the Spanish Tourist Board advert currently running in the UK says....... 'Smile, Your In Spain'.


  1. One of just a few "folk dance forms" I never studied. It always seemed so rigid.

  2. I have always been fond of this passionate much energy and feeling.