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  • Writer's pictureMaría Molina

Spanish vocabulary - The Flamenco

Updated: Nov 23, 2021


"Bailaora" of flamenco

Learning Spanish is very interesting, but it is also interesting to know how to enjoy Spanish culture. Everyone has heard of FLAMENCO but, possibly, what you know are stereotypes.


Did you know that on November 16, 2010, FLAMENCO was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO?


I'm going to try to explain to you what flamenco is. You will also learn a lot of Spanish vocabulary associated with this artistic expression


FLAMENCO is an artistic expression that integrates instrumental music, song and dance. He is originally from Andalusia and is closely linked to the gypsy ethnic group and is known worldwide for his great emotional intensity and for the waste of feelings that the artists print in their interpretations.


Cante, Baile and Toque


Flamenco emerges as a sung artistic expression (cante), but is later complemented with instruments (toque) and dance (baile).


Cante


People who sing flamenco are not singers, they are cantaores and cantaoras (accepted syncopations of cantadores and cantadoras). I leave you a video of a mythical cantaor: Camarón de la Isla


There are many types of cante, but they are totally defined. The different types are called palos.


What in general terms is called a song or theme, in the flamenco world is called a copla.


Toque


The flamenco guitar, similar to the classical guitar, is the main instrument. The people who play the guitar are not performers, they are tocaores and tocaoras (although it is very rare to find tocaoras). Guitarristas also tell them. Below is a video of the magnificent guitarrista Paco de Lucía



In addition to the guitar, the palmas and, more recently, the cajón are used as instruments.


These accompaniments set the rhythm, which is called compás


Another instrument used to mark the compás, usually while dancing, are the castañuelas, which are called palillos.


Shoes can also be considered an instrument. The rhythmic accompaniment with the shoes is called zapateado or taconeo


Baile


In the flamenco world, dancers are bailaores and bailaoras.


I leave you videos of a bailaora with palillos and a bailaor zapateando




Palos


The palos, that is, the types of cante, deserve a special section.

Next I will present the best known ones.


Palos of cante jondo (cante hondo)

This set of palos is the most solemn and emotional. The best known are the seguiriya, the soleá and the fandango. Here is the video of a soleá



Palos of cante flamenco

They are bulerías, alegrías and tangos, among others. I have already presented you some bulerías by Camarón de la Isla, I leave you a video of some alegrías



Sones aflamencados

They are the most festive palos. Without a doubt the best example are the well-known sevillanas



In many cases a construction is used that uses the preposition "por", such as

  • Bailar por sevillanas

  • Cantar por bulerías

  • Tocar por alegrías

Evolution


In recent times, flamenco is evolving to more modern forms, merging with other sounds and aesthetics, such as the ones I present to you in the following videos



And it has become an active element in international music production, such as the famous Rosalía


Exercises


1.-El _______ tenia una voz tan potente que no necesitaba micrófono

2.-Que bien toca el guitarrista ___ bulerías.

3.-La soleá es un _____ que te toca el alma

4.-Me encanta cuando la bailaora toca los ______

5.-El bailaor parece que va a romper en suelo cuando _______

6.-Es increíble como llevan el ____ tocando las ______ y el _______


Solutions


1.-El cantaor tenia una voz tan potente que no necesitaba micrófono

2.-Que bien toca el guitarrista por bulerías.

3.-La soleá es un palo que te toca el alma

4.-Me encanta cuando la bailaora toca los palillos

5.-El bailaor parece que va a romper en suelo cuando taconea / zapatea

6.-Es increíble como llevan el compás tocando las palmas y el cajón

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