Flamenco in Barcelona

From "Gipsy Art" to legitimate cultural expression

A form of musical art both popular and cultivated, Flamenco integrates musical influences from all the cultures that settled and thrived in Andalusia since Antiquity, even though Flamenco itself is not that old, as its documented history (only) dates back to the 17th century.

Flamenco is also known as gipsy art as this community, who settled in Spain by the end of the 15th century, played an essential role in its formation and development.

The word Flamenco to refer to songs and dances from Southern Spain was coined during the 19th century when the genre knew a golden age thanks to the openings of cafés featuring live flamenco performances. The first of those cafés opened in Cadiz and Seville and knew so much success they quickly spread to most big towns, including Barcelona.

During the 1920s Flamenco knew a period of decline as its commercial success made it superficial and cut it from the popular roots that fed it until then and even became known as Opera Flamenca for tax reasons.

In the 1950s, after a period of introspection and withdrawal, Flamenco experimented a revival and from "gipsy art" became a legitimate expression of Spanish Culture. Tourism also played its part as the former cafés and cabarets were replaced by "Tablaos", where foreign tourists made most of the audience and contributed a lot to its international diffusion.

Today, the major challenge Flamenco faces is the explosion of new musical genres and sub genres, instruments, technologies, etc. but a look at its past will be sufficient to feel optimistic about Flamenco's capacity to adapt to new times. Already bands such as Chambao have put Flamenco back into the musical landscape of the clubbing generation fusionning Flamenco with electronic sounds.

 

 

Flamenco DancerFlamenco Dancer o Bailaora