Flamenco History and Terms
INTRO TO FLAMENCO!
A little history...
Flamenco has a long and rich history as a passionate form of music and dance that comes from the southern part of Spain known as Andalucía. While the origins of flamenco are debated, it is believed that this art form evolved from a mixture of cultural influences from the Spanish gypsies, the Spanish Christians, the Jews, and the Moors living in Spain. Older flamenco forms classified as “cante jondo” or “deep song” explore darker themes and reflect the persecution of the groups mentioned above. Gradually flamenco gained popularity within Spain and it went from being performed privately in homes to being performed in cafes and theatres as well. Newer flamenco forms known as “cante chico” or “young song” were influenced by music from the “New World”. These tend to be much lighter and happier in nature.
There are a few main flamenco “palos” or “forms” and many variations of the main forms. Some interesting flamenco family trees listing existing flamenco palos can be found at http://www.nylonguitarist.com/flamenco_family_tree... and http://falsetaspuntocom.blogspot.com/ and an example of one can be seen below.
BASIC FLAMENCO FOOTWORK NAMES:
Golpe (Flat)-strike with the entire sole of the shoe
Planta/Mediaplanta (Ball)-strike with the ball of the foot
Tacón (Heel)-lift heel keeping ball of the foot on the floor and strike with heel
Talón/Tacón (Heel/Jab)-lift entire foot and strike with edge of heel
Punta (Point)-strike with the point of the toe
Aficonado-enthusiast, fan, knowledgeable observer of flamenco Aire-description of general character of a flamenco performance Alante-front of stage
Atras-rear of stage
Baile-dance Bailaor(a)-dancer Braceo-arm movement Cajón-percussive box drum Calo-language of the gypsies Cantaor(a)-singer Cante-song
Cante chico-light song or young song
Cante jondo-deep song
Compas-beat, rhythm, measure, the characteristic rhythm of a form Copla-verse
Cuadro-group of flamenco performers
Entrada-entrance of dance
Floreo-movement of the hands
Juerga-flamenco party or jam session
Jaleo-shouts of encouragement
Jondo-variation of “hondo”, deep
Letra-verse or lyrics of song
Llamada-“call” or “break” during dance, usually signals letra/singing to begin Manton-big shawl
Marcando-marking of rhythm by dancer
Marcaje- marking of rhythm by dancer
Palmeros-people who do the palmas/handclapping during a song Pasada-pass, passing a partner during the course of a dance
Pellizco-small flirtatious, humorous gestures made by the dancer Pitos-finger snapping
Planta-sole of foot
Punta-toe of foot
Quejio- ”lament” done by the singer
Salida-exit or entrance of dancer
Silencio-traditional section of the Alegrias played much slower Sordas-soft or muffled hand clapping
Tablao-club with stage for flamenco shows
Tacon-heel, drop of heel
Talon-heel, strike with the edge of heel Taconeo-footwork
COMMONLY USED PHRASES:
Asi se baila- That's dancing!
Asi se toca-That's playing!
Asi se canta-That's singing!
Eso es-That's it!
Olé! Or Alé!
Toma- take it! Vamos alla- go there! Vamo' ya!- Let's go!