The art of Flamenco can be found everywhere in Los Angeles. From places like El Cid and Sangria, where guests can experience traditional flamenco song and dance as well as dine on Spanish cuisine, to The Fountain Theater which has been referred to as “L.A.’s most significant venue for flamenco” by L.A. Weekly. And don’t forget the Los Angeles International Flamenco Festival, which will be returning to Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center March 24 and March 25.
Since L.A. is clearly a hotspot for flamenco dancing, why not get in on the action? At Steps of Gold Dance we can teach you about the art and passion of Flamenco.
What is Flamenco?
Flamenco is rhythmic, serious, passionate, graceful, and alluring. It is a highly-expressive solo dance which involves hand clapping, rhythmic footwork, and precise hand, arm, and body movements. These artistic body movements are incorporated with song and guitar music. Flamenco dance is beautifully complex because it relies on three integral components: The dancing (baile), the song (cante), and the guitar music. Props may also be used to produce additional audio and visual impact.
What does Flamenco look like?
At the beginning of a Flamenco dance, the dancer at first remains motionless and void of expression. A few moments into the song, and after he or she begins to feel the music, the dancer will begin a steady rhythmic beat possibly involving the hands. As a flood of emotion builds, the passion of the dance will increase. At this point, movements become fiercer and sometimes louder through the use of hand props or percussive attachments on the dancer’s attire. Even during the most intense parts of the dance, movements remain rhythmic and graceful.
What can you get at Steps of Gold Dance?
When dancing the Flamenco, a dancer uses movement as a way to express a range of emotions. There is no exact Flamenco dance that one can learn, but instead a strict framework of rhythmic patterns that the dancer uses to express personal emotions. Our talented and motivating instructors can teach you the precise movements and skills necessary to become a confident Flamenco dancer. Mastering this fiery and emotional dance takes patience, but we can help you learn the steps and movements necessary to properly display your deepest feelings.
You will also get a great workout through the sharp, precise movements used when Flamenco dancing. As you refine and perfect your abilities, you will also trim and transform your body. Parts of the body involved in the rhythmic movements of Flamenco are all areas that people concentrate on during cardiovascular and strength training workouts. While working on your hips, waist, arms, and more, have fun at the same time. Get a confidence boost, and learn how to dazzle a crowd.
Enroll in a Flamenco dance course and learn a new way to appreciate your body and express yourself.
History of Flamenco
Flamenco refers to a specific style of music, song and dance that originated from the Andalusia region in Southern Spain. This region has been historically and culturally influenced by numerous other cultures, some of which include the Byzantines, Visigoths, Greeks, Romans, Carthaginians, Vandals and Iberians. The Flamenco style evolved from, and is a combination of, Andalusian song and dance, and the song and dance of the local Romani people.
Although the Flamenco dancer usually is the focus of the audience’s attention, it is the cante Flamenco that is the heart and soul of the art form. Cante Flamenco, or Flamenco music, is traditionally played with a combination of classical guitars, Flamenco guitars, palillos, palmas and a cajon. A Flamenco guitar is similar to a classical guitar, but it is usually lighter and has golpeadores, which are pick plates and tap plates. Palillos, also called castanets, consist of a pair of concave shells joined together by a string. They are held in the hand to produce clicks to keep the rhythm going. Palmas are band members who keep the rhythm going by clapping their hands. Finally, cajons are box-like percussion instruments that serve a function similar to drums. Each instrument works together to create cante that, once heard, is instantly recognizable as Flamenco.
Cante Flamenco Music
Cante Flamenco is generally characterized as being staccato in nature. Staccato means that the musical notes are shortened. The rapid, short notes sometimes with tantalizing pauses, and the tone the instruments provide, combine together to create excitement, anticipation, and a zestful atmosphere of celebration and exuberance. When the melody is slowed down, the exuberance and zest can turn to intense passion or sorrow.
When one listens to cante Flamenco, one feels compelled to express the powerful emotions being experienced. This expression manifests itself in the Flamenco dance, or baile Flamenco. Flamenco dancers are confident and proud, and often move their arms, shake their hips, and stomp their feet with rhythmic and graceful deliberation. The Flamenco dancer traditionally wears exotic, long, dresses that are predominantly red, black, or a combination of the two. A dancer in a deep, lustful red Flamenco dress is certain to evoke erotic emotions of longing and desire.
Baile Flamenco in Japan?
The popularity of Flamenco has soared in recent years. In fact, in Japan there are more Flamenco academies than there are in Spain. The increased popularity of Flamenco has led to the increase in dance studios, such as Steps of Gold, which now teach this exciting art form. Steps of Gold is the perfect place to learn baile Flamenco. Their proficient instructors will teach you everything you need to know in order to become a Flamenco dancer.
The next time you listen to Flamenco music, or watch a Flamenco dance, and you feel the urge to join in, remember that Steps of Gold can train you to be the Flamenco dancer – not just part of the audience.
- dance.about.com > Flamenco
- Performing Arts Live > Events
- Flameno Note > Events
- Fountain Theatre