Traditional Dances In Spain



The typical Spanish individual has disappeared decades ago. In the XIXth century, the writers and artists were describing images about a coast inhabitated by voluptous women, with long black hair and fire eyes, and mustached men, with picturesque appearance. Ifyou look for that type of people, you will be disappointed, being given that Spain occupies a high place in the process of globalization. Although, beneath the surface there is a complex structure of regional differences and deeply rooted traditions, that even young people with mobile phones have not abandoned. “Flamenco” dance is one of those traditions.


Flamenco is a combination of song,  guitar sound, and dance that summarizes  the complex spirit of Andaluzia, a region in Spain. Arabic, oriental and gypsy influences have mixed, forming this characteristic sound in its most raw state means spontaneous outbursts. The flounces, jerky movements and  the dancer’s claps are easily accessible to foreigners, but give birth often to disappointing mechanical performances, supported for the tourists on “costas.” With all these, the real “flamenco ” is still alive and since the  80’s, it began to reinvent itself.


Most of the specialists consider that flamenco’s origins descend form the XVth century, when gypsies came from the north of India through Egypt, and their music knitted  with that of the Moors and the Jews from Andalusia. Sevilla, Jerez, and Cadiz were the first three cities where the schools of flamenco appeared. Regardless of its variations, flamenco’s purpose is to reach “duente,” an intense and interactive communication with the public, that participates through shouts of appreciation. Like an unwritten tradition, it is considered that the loss, mourning or injustice is much more important than the tonal clarity and it is often interpreted as “a capella”.

In this dance, mezmerizing movements of the legs is paramount, this being also an explanation for the long dresses with flounces, that have a huge cut in front. In the 70’s, Manuela Carrasco carried this technique to its highest peaks. Whoever saw the movie “Carmen” (1983), by Carlos Saura, must remember the amazing dancing feet of Cristina Hoyos, dancing next to Antonio Gades. Their generation is now sunset, but  the torch is carried on by Joaquin Cortes, Eva “La Yerbabuena,” and later by young Nino de los Reyes. In the point of view of interpretation, flamenco has its traditional interpretors, most of them gypsy. So if you want to experience such passion, visit Spain. It is really worth your interest.