Get to know these 5 interesting facts about flamenco
Flamenco is an art of Andalusian origin that integrates dance, singing and flamenco guitar, although nowadays you will also find the well-known “cajón flamenco” and also a flute. It is a musical genre known for its great emotional intensity and is distinguished by its graceful movements of arms, energetic tapping, intense laments and guitar strumming.
In Palau Dalmases, as you well know, we offer every night our flamenco show, with professional artists who have a successfull career and who have performed on a long list of tablaos in Spain and abroad.
5 facts about flamenco that will surprise you
1. The origins of flamenco are still a mystery
One of the most famous flamenco facts is its origins. The origin of flamenco dancing and singing is still unclear today. Although it is confirmed that the flamenco as we know it dates from the 18th century, there are many different theories of how it was born, as it has earlier musical and dance characteristics.
The most widespread and accepted hypothesis is that flamenco originated in Andalusia as a result of the coexistence of Muslims, Gypsies, Castilians, immigrants, Jews and local people. African influences were also incorporated, coming from the black Africans who passed through Andalusia and also from the Caribbean who emigrated to Spain. Thus, flamenco is the union of different races and cultures; a harmonious mixture of different lifestyles.
2. Why is flamenco called flamenco?
There are several theories, and all of them are really funny!
- The name comes from the Andalusian expression”fellah min gueir ard”, which means “landless peasant”.
- The first Flamenco artists reminded of the pink-furred birds with the same name (Flamingo) for their (maybe stiff) pose.
- Some theories say that Flamenco came to Spain from Flanders during the time of Charles V. Although this hypothesis may be quite incorrect, as Flamenco as a musical style did not emerge until several centuries later.
- One of the first studies on Flamenco tells that in the 18th century, the gypsies, who were and are the main architects of this musical genre, were known in Andalusia as “flamencos”.
3. Influences of other cultures on flamenco dance and singing
These multicultural influences can be seen reflected in all their aspects, both in dance and in the vocals, where we can distinguish:
- synagogue chants
- Gregorian chants
- Andalusian folk songs
- traditional Andalusian music
- Arabic sounds
- African rhythms
In flamenco dance, on the other hand, there are influences of traditional Spanish dances, Indian dances brought by gypsies, and African dances with more sensual movements.
4. Flamenco is characterized by expressing deep feelings
If you have already seen a flamenco show, you will know that the performances are intense, full of emotion. Flamenco is an art that explores the deepest feelings, such as pain, loneliness, anguish, despair, love, lack of love, passion and joy and these are transmitted through voice and movement. There’s always an emotional element.
5. The long history of flamenco in Barcelona
The first truthful information about the arrival of flamenco artists to the Catalan capital and of Barcelona’s artists who offered their performances, origins from the second half of the 19th century, although it is believed that there has already been flamenco activity in the past. So, although many may believe otherwise, the historical relationship between Barcelona and flamenco is a hundred years old, as well as fruitful. Between the 19th and 20th century Barcelona became one of the first flamenco spots in Spain.
Did you know all these facts about flamenco? Follow us on our Facebook page so you don’t miss anything about this art, and if you are in Barcelona and want to enjoy an intimate and exciting flamenco show, don’t hesitate to come and see us at Palau Dalmases!