What is flamenco?
Flamenco (pronounced [flaˈmeŋko]) refers to rich music and dance traditions from the province of Andalusia in Southern Spain. The haunting singing (cante) is often accompanied by intricate guitar playing (toque), hand clapping (palmas), and dramatic dancing (baile).
Flamenco has become popular all over the world and is taught in many non-Hispanic countries. Men, women, and children can all enjoy the intricate stamping footwork of flamenco dance. Here in Victoria, we have flamenco dancers as young as 9 years old all the way to students who are 70+.
You do not need a partner to dance flamenco! Many of the traditional dances are based on improvisation where the singer, dancer, and guitarist take turns adding embellishments to a strict rhythm structure (compás).
Flamenco music draws on many different cultures and traditions that influenced the Gypsy population within Spain. It is still an evolving art form with many artists expanding the scope of flamenco to include modern fusion.