Easily one of the most internationally recognized facets of Spanish culture, flamenco is a passionate form of music and dance that draws its influences from the country's historic eastern world cultures. It was created over time in the gypsy and marginal communities of Spanish towns and cities, where it took shape in homes, gatherings and bars.
Today the essence of flamenco continues to lie in the live performance, as the performers feed off the energy of the crowd... and vice versa. When you go to a flamenco show, you can count on seeing a series of crucial figures up on stage who, together, push each other as they strive to create an emotional connection with the audiencee.
First off is the singer, or cantaor, who belts out intense songs of love and loss. The guitarist, or tocaor, accompanies and complements the strong voice of the cantaor. The most flamboyant part of the show is undoubtedly the flamenco dancers, generally young men and women who stomp, drill their heels and whirl with a feisty, almost violent passion. There may additionally be a few others up on stage who provide what is known as jaleo by clapping their hands, stomping their feet, snapping their fingers and shouting out to the other performers.
Attending a flamenco show is a wonderful way to come in contact with a fascinating part of Spain's multifaceted culture. Packed with vibrant color, heated passion and truly unique music, it's bound to be an unforgettable experience!