Flamenco a pulso

On the 27th of December, the Gallery hosted its annual event Flamenco a pulso with the Laredo Slam Poets opening the show.  

Flamenco dance is the art form developed over several centuries from Gypsy, Moorish, Andalusian and other roots.  Flamenco music and dance became popular in the early 19th century in the form of cafe entertainment.  

Canto ("song") is the core of flamenco, and like baile ("dance"), it has three forms: grande or hondo ("grand" or "deep"), intense, profound songs, tragic in tone, and imbued with duende, the transformation of the musician by the depth of the emotion; intermedio ("intermediate"), moderately serious, the music sometimes Oriental-sounding; and pequeno ("small"), light songs of exuberance, love, and nature.   

Individual genres include the light bulerias; the more serious soleares and its lighter descendant, the alegrias; the fandangos grandes, a serious adaptation of a lighter non-Gypsy genre; the malaguenas, an offshoot of the fandangos; and cantos grandes such as the siguiriyas gitanas and saetas.  Both text and melody of these songs, like the flamenco dance, are improvised within traditional structures such as characteristic rhythms and chords.  Zapateado, intricate toe and heel-clicking steps, characterizes the men's dance; the traditional women's dance is based more on grace of body and hand movement. 

The baile grande, especially, is believed to retain elements of the dance of India, where the Gypsies originated.  Castanets, found in Andalusian dance, are not traditional to flamenco.  Song and dance may be accompanied by jaleo, rhythmic finger snapping, hand clapping, and shouting.  In the 19th century, guitar accompaniment became common for many genres, and guitar solos also developed.  


Check out the gallery below for more images from the night.