Spanish Dance is a complicated dance form to explain briefly. Basically, Spanish dance can be categorized in six groups:- Flamenco, Class Spanish Dance, Folklorica, 18C Dance, Ballet and lastly Castanets.
By far, Flamenco is the best-known Spanish dance form due to the many dancers and musicians performing this genre and the commercial support lent by tourism in Andalucia and Madrid two of the main centers of Flamenco. As a result, Flamenco has eclipsed the performance of other Spanish dance forms outside of Spain. Flamenco is a song, music and dance style which is strongly influenced by the Gitanos, but which has its deeper roots in Moorish musical traditions. Nuevo Flamenco, or New Flamenco, is a recent variant of Flamenco which has been influenced by modern musical genres, like rumba, salsa, pop, rock and jazz. Sevillanas are another variation on the theme, from Seville. Originally, flamenco consisted of unaccompanied singing . Later the songs were accompanied by Classical guitar, rhythmic clapping, rhythmic feet stamping and dance. The toque and baile are also often found without the cante, although the song remains at the heart of the flamenco tradition. More recently other instruments like the cajon (wooden box used as a percussion instrument) and castanets were introduced.
Classical Spanish Dance encompasses sophisticated choreography of Classical Music by great Spanish composers such as Manuel Falla, Albeniz, Granado, and Turina. Dancers wear either Spanish dance shoes or Ballet shoes. The dance blends Flamenco, Folklore, and Classical Ballet.
Spanish Folklore is very diverse. Each region
of Spain has its own traditional inherited dances, some of which are
many centuries old. These dances include the “muneira” from Galicia,
the “verdiales” from Malaga, the “zorcico” from the Basque Province,
and the “sardana” from Catalonia, all of which are very different.
Through these dances, the people of each region express their uniqueness
and cultural heritage. The Castanets, part
of Spain’s musical heritage, are a percussion instrument popular in
various Spanish dances. Mastery of the castanets requires separate
study from dance to gain maximum artistic expres La Jota The jota encompasses
a variety of Spanish-influenced dances accompanied by the use of bamboo
castanets, held loosely and unstrung.
Eighteenth Century Dance, called Escuela Bolera, are dances performed with outfits, shoes and castanets typical of the time of the Spanish painter Goya This is the reason they are sometimes called Goyescas. These dances use dance steps from classical ballet along with movements and expressions typical of Spain in the XVIII Cent.
Classical Ballet is the foundation of serious dance study. Classical ballet includes the technique to displayelegance and mastery of movement required in many dance forms, including Flamenco, Jazz, Contemporary etc.
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