What is 'flamenco'?

Flamenco is a passionately emotional art form from the Andalucía region of Spain, expressed mainly through song (cante), often accompanied by guitar (toque), and sometimes interpreted further with dance (baile). It has nothing to do with the flamingo bird (compare the spelling). It is from Spain (not South America/ Latin America), although nowadays it is practiced the world over.

Flamenco has deep and tragic roots in the appalling human rights violations of the Spanish Inquisition in southern Spain (Andalucía) over 500 years ago. These atrocities were carried out on local Arabs, Jews, Christians and Gypsies alike. Many insurgents and victims fled to the relative safety of Andalucía's wild mountains, forming secluded communities of refugees.

 

Over generations, contact between these culturally diverse groups stimulated a gradual cross-fertilisation in their music and laments. This eventually gave rise to a natural fusion and the unique development of one of the most intense and emotionally liberating of art forms - what only relatively recently became identified with the name, ‘flamenco’.

 

Themes of death, injustice, desolation, lost love and the quest for freedom still form the bones of the purest flamenco song, reflecting constant personal struggle and the continual human need for catharsis. The gut-wrenching emotion driven principally by the singer (the core of flamenco) provides the inspiration for the spectacular work of the dancer, whose bitter-sweet upper body expression is typically punctuated and asserted by complex, mesmerising polyrhythms of percussive footwork. The whole effect is spellbinding.

Since it developed from the realm of persecuted people, it has typically been associated with the disadvantaged in society and scorned by the upper echelons of society. In fact to this day, rightly or wrongly, flamenco is strongly tied to the Spanish Gypsies, and has only relatively recently come to enjoy mainstream artistic recognition and international connections. In its emergence into the shrinking world of digitally shared information, flamenco has been developed by some artisits to virtuosic heights. This has guaranteed flamenco's future, but is the source of many a debate about artistry vs integrity.

Could it be right for me?

Flamenco Dance is essentially a solo art form, so no partner is required. As such it’s perfect for men and women to focus on their inner self, and to physically channel their emotions with dignity, and strength.

 

Expert instructor of both female and male styles, Maestro Dietz will teach you exciting choreography plus the essential techniques to help you develop mastery in this distinctive and unforgetable expression.