Flamenco, Andalucia's Dance of Love
Yesterday my bestie A and I were discussing one of our favourite early 90’s Vogue fashion spreads featuring one of our choice supermodels, Helena Christensen as a Spanish beauty with a travelling, gypsy caravan. The fashion was heavily influenced by Andalucia Spain with fiery red, tiered, flamenco dresses, intricately woven scarves, brocade fans and headpieces. Funny how we both remember it so vividly. I am obsessed with everything Spanish – I keep conversational cd’s in the car to practice, I coerce friends into Spanish vacations whenever possible, I am definitely taking flamenco lessons this Fall and I am investing in a black and red polka dot skirt so I can channel my inner Andalucian gypsy.
For travellers to Seville, no journey is complete without the viewing of a traditional flamenco show. Although I have been to Spain a few times, I have yet to enjoy the pleasure of participating in this long standing tradition. Teardrop. Fortunately, I have watched Vida (a Cuban flamenco troupe) and a shirtless, tight spandex-pant wearing Joaquin Cortes when they performed in the city. I could barely sit still. I wanted to hop on stage.
The origin of the Flamenco actually stems from the Indian Hindus who were brought over to entertain the royal courts with their beautiful ancient dances. Through the years, the dance form integrated influences of the Moorish and gypsies from Persia and Pakistan. Flamenco as it is known today is danced with passion, graceful precision, stacatto footwork and fluid hand movements. Live shows often include Spanish guitar accompaniment and the use of castanets (to accent the finger snapping).
From Andalucia.com, “There is widely held belief that you cannot learn the flamenco and that it is a secret held in the hearts of gypsies.” The most spontaneous and purest dance is the one that comes from your heart. So true.
Here are some Flamenco Links to keep your toes tapping and your dancing soul lit with passion! Ole!
- Feel the heat – The Flamenco Festival hits Toronto October 24th with special guest Rafael Campallo at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre www.torontoflamencofestival.com
- Listen to your heartbeat – You’ve always had rhythm and felt bohemian. Take a dance class with Esmerelda Enrique who offers flamenco, technique and spanish guitar classes throughout the year www.flamencos.net
- Better yet, go to where it all started – Immerse yourself in the culture and history of Seville. Bring me back a flamenco skirt will you? I am always supportive of travellers. Love Spain as much as I do! www.travelinginspain.com