Flamenco originated from Spain, in particular from the southern regions of Andalusia. It resulted from the interaction of various cultures, including the Andalusian, Islamic, Sephardic and Gitano. There is dispute among researchers about the origins of flamenco.
Some researchers claim that Gypsies were the first to start this art form before its first documented appearance. The cause of the dispute lies on the case that flamenco started spreading during a period of political and social turbulences in Spain- Inquisition.
As a result, there is slight evidence concerning arts and their progress. Regardless of its origins, flamenco became a booming subculture in Seville, Cadiz and Malaga.
At the end of 18th century flamenco reached its peak with “fiesta flamenco” or due to the long social events that followed a strict protocol. From 1869 until 1910 Spain entered the “Golden Era of flamenco”. During this period, the dancers were considered a great attraction for public and guitarists started gaining in popularity. Moreover, many music cafés where flamenco was danced became widely popular. From 1892 until 1956 flamenco entered the “theatrical period” during which financial interest was an advantage for its authenticity.
Flamenco is traditionally performed solo and the dancer uses arms, legs and various accessories such as long skirts, castanets and big fans. The flamenco technique requires a strong and centre-orientated body posture, stamping of the feet (zapateado), strong arms with bent elbows and a continuous inner and outer curving of the arms.
Advanced technical skills are required so that somebody dances flamenco. However, this does not necessarily mean that this art form is difficult for beginners. This happens because, although the physical execution of the dance can be taught through time and training, the most important fact are the passion and the commitment of the dancer. The biggest challenge of the flamenco dance is the creation of an authentic experience for the audience, following the power of music. This makes flamenco a strongly personal and unique dance style. For this reason, flamenco will be preserved as long as dancers and musicians stay focused on long history and rich tradition. Today, this dance genre is an art form danced and taught all over the world, also recognized by UNESCO.