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Flamenco is a style of song, dance, and instrumental music played mostly on the guitar that is frequently connected to the Andalusian Roma (Gypsies) of southern Spain. (In that country, the Roma are known as Gitanos.) Flamenco's origins, however a little unknown, appear to have been brought to Spain by the Roma who migrated there from Rajasthan in northwest India between the ninth and fourteenth centuries. These immigrants brought a wide variety of songs and dances as well as musical instruments like tambourines, bells, and wooden castanets. They came into contact with the diverse cultures of the Moors and Sephardic Jews in Spain. Their centuries-long cultural blending gave rise to the distinctive flamenco art form.










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Cante, or song, is what makes flamenco what it is. Cante jondo ("profound song," or "deep song"), cante intermedio ("intermediate song," also known as cante flamenco), and cante chico ("light song") are the three types of flamenco music. The cante jondo, which typically has a complicated 12-beat rhythm as its foundation, is considered to be the earliest type. It is characterized by intense emotion and explores subjects like dying, suffering, sorrow, or religious uncertainty. The fandango is one of the Spanish musical genres that is included into the hybrid form known as the cante intermedio.


As it typically deals with humor and topics of love, the countryside, and gaiety, the cante chico demands a great deal of technical expertise but considerably less emotional engagement than the other two styles. Every song genre has a distinctive beat and chord structure, however different cante styles may have the same rhythm but differ in accent, nuance, and emotional content.












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Flamenco's "golden age" is typically seen as lasting from around 1780 to 1845. At that time, singing took center stage in flamenco, with dancing and accompanying music coming in second. Beginning in 1842, when Silverio Franconetti established the first café cantante, Café sin Nombre, in Sevilla, what had previously been primarily an outdoor, outsider, family-oriented activity that focused on cante underwent a transformation. This establishment, as well as the numerous others that appeared in the major Spanish cities of Granada, Cordoba, and Sevilla, among others, gave priority to the musicians and dancers, and it was during this time that the singer started to play a supporting role.










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The troupes of Antonio and Rosario (Antonio Ruiz Soler and Rosario Florencia Pérez Podilla), Ximénez-Vargas (Roberto Ximénez and Manolo Vargas), La Argentina (Antonia Mercé), Vicente Escudero, Carmen Amaya, La Argentinita (Encarnación López), José Greco, and Pilar López, as well as other notable.


New rhythmic techniques are being developed in the studio by contemporary artists like Eva la Yerbabuena, Joaqun Cortés, Antonio Canales, Belén Maya, and Juana Amaya, who then incorporate them into lengthier story theatre performances where rhythm takes center stage in the dance. Flamenco was impacted by the broader musical fusing of forms in the last few decades of the 20th century.





After the middle of the 19th century, flamenco songs were frequently accompanied by guitar music, a palo seco (Spanish: "dry stick," a stick that was beat on the ground to keep time), and a dancer who displayed a combination of choreographed and improvised dance styles. Since then, the flamenco dance known as baile has dominated the genre despite never being performed solo.


Cantaor, a singer, tells legends and stories from everyday life that reflect the experiences of an outcast subculture within predominantly white, Christian Spain as an accompaniment to the dancers (bailaor [male], bailaora [female]). The dancer serves as both the story's protagonist and its translator in the song.












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The bale is a sensual, stylized, yet intensely personal presentation of fluid motion that involves the movement of the arms (braceo) and upper body, the hands and fingers (florea), the feet (zapateado), and the heels (taconeo), which are frequently presented in lengthy solo sections (solea). Intricate footwork is typically performed by male dancers, whereas female dancers, who typically wear highly ruffled costumes, tend to focus more on their hands and upper torso.


After a 15- to 20-minute sequence, a deeply musical dancer is said to enter a state of duende, a state of intense concentration and transcendent emotion that Federico Garca Lorca described in 1933 as "the dark sounds" invading the performer's body. The rhythmic hand clapping and supportive comments (jaleo) from the audience and other performers heighten this amazing mood.

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