Flamenco in Andalusia

Flamenco is one of the greatest symbols of Andalusia. Learn about its history, its instruments and why it is considered a Cultural Heritage.

Flamenco is the flag and symbol of Andalusian culture, it is part of the cultural identity of this land. Declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO on November 16, 2010, the Andalusian public institutions reinforced their commitment to work to keep alive this distinctive cultural sign and to spread it abroad.

Flamenco is a unique and genuine artistic expression resulting from the fusion of vocal music, the art of dance and musical accompaniment, respectively known as cante, baile and toque. The cante is the vocal expression, sung solo and in the first person except with a guitar. It is built on musical structures called cantes, palos or estilos. Its short and simple lyrics express the popular feeling in all emotional variants: joy, sorrow, fear, tragedy…

Flamenco dance expresses passion and seduction. With a complex technique and interpretation, it differs depending on whether it is performed by a man or a woman. The diversity of its choreography also varies depending on the geography or the content of the cante and toque.

The toque was born as an accompaniment to the cante, although with the evolution of flamenco itself it acquires its own entity, constituted by the guitar, which has three fundamental functions: to accompany the cante, the dance or to act alone. However, although the flamenco guitar is the instrument that forms the backbone of all the flamenco palos, it is also usually accompanied by other instruments such as castanets, palmas, cajón, flute or zapateo.

Each of the different styles of singing is known as a ‘palo’, that is to say, the different modalities that exist and that are grouped differently depending on their origin, metrics or whether they are accompanied by dance or guitar. The oldest is the Fandango (from Huelva and Malaga), the Soleá as a deep and emotional palo, the Bulerías as the most “partying”, the Tangos as one of the most basic or the Seguiriyas as a sad and painful palo. And of course we must not forget the Sevillanas, danced in couples and present in all fairs and festivals in Andalusia.

Flamenco is performed in almost any celebration in Andalusia. So you can enjoy it in religious festivities (pilgrimages, Holy Week, weddings …), in the fairs and festivals of each town, tablaos and specialized bars or private parties. This is how it has been evolving inside and outside Andalusia, breaking down borders and even reaching Japan. The transmission of the songs, music and dances from generation to generation, from town to town through the centuries has made this art worthy of study by universities and institutions to learn more about our culture.

Before traveling to our land you can enjoy listening to some flamenco, for this we recommend some of the greatest artists (now deceased) that has given this land such as Manolo Caracol, Antonio de Mairena, Enrique Morente, Camaron, Paco de Lucia or the greatest such as Lola Flores, Rocio Jurado and La Niña de los Peines. Currently there are great artists that, hopefully you can enjoy during your stay, these are: Estrella Morente, Diego el Cigala, José Mercé or Miguel Poveda. Undoubtedly, do not leave Andalusia without going to one of these shows.

If you want to know the most important flamenco performances that are currently taking place in our community you can check it out on this website through the flamenco agenda in Andalusia.

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