I’ve been to Seville last week and aside from the beautiful sights, delicious tapas and awesome tinto de verano (I discovered my new passion by tasting this) , I witnessed one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen in 21 years, flamenco.
Flamenco originated in the southern regions of Spain, but it’s thought to be influenced by many world cultures, including latin american, cuban and jewish traditions.
There are many suggestions for the origin of the word flamenco as a musical term but no solid evidence for any of them, the word was not recorded as a musical and dance term until the late 18th century. The word could have been a derivative of “flame” or may have come to be used for fiery behaviour applied by the gitano performers.
Another theory proposed by Andalusian historians suggested that the word flamenco comes from the arabic term “fellah mengu” that means “expelled peasant”.
You can see this “work of art” in every corner of Seville. We were just walking by the streets and then we saw this amazing thing in Puerta de Jerez.
Originally flamenco dancing was not set to music, it was only singing and clapping of hands called “toque de palmas”. Some flamenco dancing still follows ancient tradition , but the use of guitars and other musical instruments has become more popular in modern flamenco.
Today it is made up of four elements: cante, baile, toque and the jaleo that means “hell raising” and involves the handclapping, foot stomping and shouts of encouragement.
We had the chance to visit the only museo del baile flamenco in the world, founded by Cristina Hoyos, a spanish flamenco dancer and choreographer. I was totally impressed and speechless by what I saw. You can really see dancers’ deepest emotions by their body movements and facial expressions. I wasn’t able to take decent pictures because I was mesmerized by their huge talent and I swear I didn’t see anything like that in my wholeeee life!
It is now obvious why UNESCO declared flamenco one of the masterpieces of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity. I am begging you guys, visit Seville and watch a flamenco show, you’ll be simply amazed!