Monday, January 11, 2016

Flamenco Folk Dance

Flamenco Folk Dance

The Flamenco folk dance has its origins in Spain. Considered a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity, its humble roots now span the world.

The genre itself is said to be closely associated with the Romani people of Spain who occupied the Andalusian (Southern Spanish) region. These gypsies, unlike their Eastern European counterpart, developed the folk music and folk dance traditions of what once was a cultural melting pot that included Andalusians, Moors, Romanis, Jews and a few others.

First recorded in the late 18th century it has managed to evolve over time as have most folk arts. In fact, this ability to ‘keep up’ with the culture in which it exists so that it remains relevant is a hallmark feature of folklore, in general. 

Originally passed down from generation to generation, between family and community members living at society's edges it is comprised primarily of three elements. Music, dance, and guitar, and all have evolved from rural, folkloric tradition to elaborate staged productions. Virtuoso guitarists and elaborately dressed dancers have helped to make it so popular today.

To celebrate its journey from Spain’s old world to the New World, the Museum of International Folk Art is hosting Flamenco: From Spain to New Mexico. The exhibit runs through September 11, 2016 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Along with costumes, paintings, lectures, films and performances, the exhibit will also explore Spain's ferias and fiestas. Topics will range from their introduction to the southwestern US to the individuals who helped to make flamenco a popular art form in this country. 

To learn more about flamenco which was declared to be one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2010 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) click here.

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