Certain types of music and dance become associated with countries. Spain is no exception as one’s mind immediately hears the guitarist and sees the brightly dressed female dancer, her feet pounding a staccato beat and fingers clicking castanets. It’s the flamenco. But what exactly is the flamenco?
The flamenco as we know it has only been around in the current form for a couple of centuries, and we might not easily recognize its earliest forms. The word ” flamenco” itself is of unsure origins – everything from a name for the people of Flanders, an expression of feeling ill, to being flame-colored ( hence the Flamingo bird). Some suggest it comes from the phrase for “expelled peasant” which has some credibility as the dance has its origins in a blend of dances performed by the early Andalusian peasants of Islamic faith , the Roma, and early Jewish immigrants: all groups avoiding religious persecution. But flamenco is more than dance.