Cante. Toque. Baile. ¡Flamenco!

12 Nov

Hola todo!  As usual, time is just absolutely flying by, and the semester is getting slightly busier between projects and planning trips.  However, I still managed to enjoy a relaxing weekend in Sevilla, España!  I absolutely loved it, it truly is a beautiful city.  It’s quite a bit larger than Alicante, but much less modern nonetheless—which I believe this is what I loved most about it.  The cathedral was full of breathtaking architecture, the Giralda Tower gave a wonderful bird’s eye view of the city, and I’m not even sure I have enough words to express to beauty of the palaces and jardines.   However, one of the coolest things was that I had the opportunity to see some traditional Spanish Flamenco!

Flamenco is a type of traditional Spanish music and dance, and is huge in Sevilla—HUGE.  Come to find out, flamenco actually originated in the Andalucía region of Spain, which would be why Sevilla worships it so much.  There are 3 basic parts to this dance:  Singing, classical guitar, and of course, dancing (“el cante, el toque, el baile).  Flamenco is more of an art, or even a “language”, if you will.  The emotions and “words” are conveyed through everything from the hand motions to the different tones from the strumming of the guitar.  If you’ve ever seen a flamenco show, it is a lot of stomping and clapping—but it’s extremely difficult to execute with perfection!  All performers, although they each have separate parts, find a way to harmonize.  A lot of what they do, they make up with as they go along, because the dancers will perform what they are feeling through the music.   In other words, improvisation and spontaneity are key!

The flamenco show I attended was very traditional, but small.  It was kind of nice though to have a more intimate setting.  Many people in our group in Sevilla said they had also attended a flamenco show while in Granada, and that they weren’t able to view much of the performance, and couldn’t see the dancers’ feet at all (something very important!).  However, the show I attended, we were very up close and personal with the performers.  It was very traditional, yet simple and still exciting.  I loved that as an audience, even if you don’t know too much about flamenco, it was so easy to see that the performers were trying to convey a specific meaning.  I’m sure some people may find it boring, as it is a very different type of “entertainment”.  However, regardless of whether you enjoy it or not, it is very difficult not to appreciate the level of difficulty.  I actually learned that flamenco performers attend special schools their entire lives to enhance their perfection—it takes a ton of time to learn to execute a performance perfectly!  Crazy, right?  When it was over, the small crowd was absolutely blown away.  Sadly, photography was prohibited during the performance, and therefore these flamenco photos are not my own . . . too bad, because it was beautiful!

Well, even if it doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, I hope you all have the chance to experience a traditional flamenco show at some point—especially if you are studying abroad here in Spain!  It truly was nice to be able to enjoy something with so much history, so much beauty, and so much art.   I feel that this was one of those very important cultural things on my “must do” list.  I mean seriously, flamenco is about as traditional Spanish as you can get—it’s one of those moments where you just think, “Wow, I AM in España”.  I would love it if I had the opportunity to see another flamenco show, but if not, at least I was able to enjoy one authentic experience.

Hasta Pronto!


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