Buenos Aires Travel Blog

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The wailing music seems oddly passionate and yet sorrowful at the same time.
The rhythm of the music is unpredictable as it sways, stops, and then suddenly
speeds up.  It reflects the pleading voice that sings of grief but of fervor and
hope at the same time. Where do all of these emotions stem from?
        The dancing mirrors the instruments and voice.  The force in the arching arms,
the intensity of the concentration in their faces.  The pronunciation of the
beat through the staccato feet keeps the story alive.  Even the costumes! The
attire of the dancers’ is bold and beautiful – full of lush colors and bright
designs.  What is the history of this dance? How is it reflected in the music?
        After some research, it was discovered that the Flamenco dance originated from
the Gypsies of Southern Spain at the time when King Ferdinand adopted
Catholicism as the nation’s official religion and enforced it on all the people
around the late 1490’s.  The proclamation was issued under the threat of varying
degrees of punishment, the most severe being the threat of death by fire. There
is the belief that it was because of this decree that different ethnic groups -
the Gypsies, Muslims, and Jews - came together and fused together a blend of
each culture to create Flamenco as an attempt to preserve their beliefs and
culture under the overpowering authority.
        Now the pieces fit.  The stomping feet resist the King’s attempts to force the
populace into one religion – the strength in their original faith lie in the
force of the sweeping arms.  The sad music connotes the distress of having to
suppress their beliefs and at the same time, there is excitement and zeal in the
beauty of the infused cultures reflected in the music and dance.
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