flamenco

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flamenco, Spanish music and dance typical of the Romani (Gypsy), or gitano. Flamenco dancing is characterized by colorful costumes, intense and erotic movements, stamping of the feet (zapateado), and clapping of the hands (palmada); its execution is brilliant, noisy, and passionate. Flamenco music is believed to have originated in the early 19th cent. from the canto hondo [Sp.,=deep song] of Andalusia, a highly emotional and tragic type of song accompanied by a guitar. By the mid-19th cent. flamenco had become a generally popular entertainment form, and it subsequently flourished, both in its pure form and with the addition of elements from ballet, folk music, jazz, and other forms. Among the most notable flamenco dancers have been La Argentina (d. 1936), Vicente Escudero, La Argentinita (1898–1945), Carmen Amaya (1913–63), José Greco, Antonio ( "El Bailarín" ) Ruiz Soler (1921–96), and El Farruco (1936–97) and his grandson, Juan Manuel ( "El Farruquito" ) Fernández (1982–).

See D. E. Pohren, Lives and Legends of Flamenco: A Biographical History (1964) and The Art of Flamenco (1971); J. Serrano, Flamenco, Body and Soul: An Aficionado's Introduction (1990); T. Mitchell, Flamenco Deep Song (1994); Flamenco (film, 1995), dir. by Carlos Saura.

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flamenco Traditional song, dance, and instrumental music, thought to have developed from an amalgam of Romany, Jewish, and Arab cultures in Andalusia, s Spain. Flamenco consists of improvisation within strict rules. There are three types of song, of which the most demanding is cante hondo. The dances epitomize pride, poise, and sensuality. They are accompanied by handclaps, finger-snapping, and rhythmic rolls on the guitar.

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fla·men·co / fləˈmeng/ • n. a style of Spanish music, played esp. on the guitar and accompanied by singing and dancing. ∎  a style of spirited, rhythmical dance performed to such music, often with castanets.

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flamenco. Very rhythmical Sp. dance style, particularly Andalusian. See cante flamenco. The ‘flamenco’ style of gui.-playing, rhythmical and improvisatory, is the opposite of the ‘classical’.