Aesthetically Speaking

Flamenco dance reflects spirit, power

Talk about an eye-opening experience! This past weekend, a few of my intercambios, a friend, and I had the opportunity to see an authentic flamenco show. Flamenco has its origins here in Andalucía, a province in the south of Spain. Talk about an eye-opening experience! This past weekend, a few of my intercambios, a friend, and I had the opportunity to see an authentic flamenco show. Flamenco has its origins here in Andalucía, a province in the south of Spain. It is a gypsy style of music and dance. The dance is very serious and expressive. The movements are intense, yet free. When the flamenco singers sing, their voices are very raspy and they sing so strong, it looks as if they are in pain. I had been studying flamenco in my language and culture course, so I had only gotten a preview before actually viewing the live performance.

As we entered the dining hall, we noticed the many tables that had yet to be filled. Assuming we had an early arrival, we continued toward the front row and took our seats. Shortly after ordering our beverages, the lights dimmed and the stage quickly filled with four nervous young ladies dressed in gypsy, two female singers, a male guitarist, and a man sitting in the center of the stage who appeared to make up for the lack of confidence among the remainder of the group. I suppose it could have been a flamenco school of dance type of performance because the majority of the stage consisted of people under 30 (with the exception of the more experienced dancers who would later grace the stage). The singers’ voices were not very strong compared to what I have heard-and hear on a regular basis. All seemed to have had a very mysterious, militant look on their faces which is what really set the mood for the show.

The production of the show was nicely organized. Each time one dancer took a seat from their tiring, heart-felt performance, another arose stomping lively with their tap shoes, spinning their hands and swaying their hips with a salsa rhythm or moving with an african twist or “pop”, so to say. I noticed that some of the dancers were extremely proficient and had apparently been dancing for years. They are what made the show.

We sat for about two hours watching this amazing presentation of flamenco dance and the heavier my eyes grew, the stronger the dancers performed.

At any rate, it would not be taking good advantage of my time if I had not seen a flamenco show. This was an opportunity I am glad I did not pass up!

November 18, 2002
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