November 29, 2012
Talented and renowned dancer and teacher Lucia Caruso studied Classical Ballet, Jazz and Flamenco in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Then she joined the ‘Los Romeros Flamenco Dance Company’, directed by Alberto Turina, performing live every night at ‘Tablao El Pescador’.
“Bodas de Sangre” directed by Carlos Saura.“It’s a great film and full of drama and pure Flamenco Dance”, says Lucia.
Favourite songs to dance and listen:
“Flamenco” Carmen Linares
“Flamenco” Estrella Morente
“Flamenco” Vicente Amigo
“Brazilian Bossa Nova2 Bebel Gilberto
“Tango Argentino” Ensemble
|A Brief History of Flamenco.
Flamenco is a dance of passion, pain and longing; of the soul laid bare. To the ringing sound of guitar strings and the raw, impassioned wail of the cantaor (singer), the flamenco dancer pours emotion from their body as rhythm bursts forth from their feet – beautiful, fierce and possessed.
At the heart of flamenco is not a step or a rhythm or a song, it is a mysterious quality known as duende. A dark creative force, an expression of soul and of struggle, duende is flamenco’s life force and the thread that links generations of performers to their Gypsy roots.
Those roots lie as long ago as the 15th century in Andalusia, southern Spain, where Moors, Jews and Gitanos (Gypsies) all faced persecution from the Catholic regime, and their cultural influences mixed with native Andalusian folk music to lay the foundations for this famous Gypsy art.
The first flamenco schools appeared in the late 18th century but flamenco saw its Golden Age from 1869-1910 when it was performed at café cantantes (music cafes) and began to reach a wide audience. In the early 20th century flamenco was presented in theatres and later in tacky shows for tourists. But when it looked like flamenco’s only function might be to flog castanets to sunburnt Brits, a new generation emerged to guarantee the integrity of the art form.
There is still heated debate about the importance of authenticity versus modernisation among the current crop of flamenco stars. Yet many dancers happily combine both, moving from spontaneous rhythmic improvisation to slicker choreographed sequences, or they dance the traditional forms – solea, alegria, buleria – while also drawing on broader influences.
(From Sedler’s Wells).