Thursday, March 31, 2005

Flamenco and Tango

I do not write Flamenco vs Tango, because there is no any "versus". These two go together.
Here is my post about Flamenco and Tango relation and "Flamenco", a film by Carlos Saura


Anonymous said...

Hello Igor,
I only read part of the article concerning Flamenco.

I have learned some Flamenco and have danced this dance on and off for about 18 years until one of my partners died and then I could not hear the music for a long time as it hit my soul too much,but you are correct when you say that Flamenco is like Tango.

Flamenco is a very isolating and introspective dance and is usually danced in the real world of Flamenco for ones own pleasure or pain as it were.

I believe in order to dance Flamenco or Tango one must dig very deep in to ones soul and this is very frightning for most people. I also believe that this dance is danced very well when one has endured a lot of pain. And has found a center and a comfortable place to let ones feelings fly freely. In Tango these feelings are shared and one can find solace together,but in Flamenco it is really never shared only expressed. The dancer is the center in flamenco and leads the cante and the guitarist in this expression of their soul at this moment. Flamenco is one of the darkest places that I have been and the most invigorating,but Tango is more healthy for a soul that is not afraid to share and communicate with another soul. This can be very scary!!!

I believe that most people, at least here, dance this dance when I think this tango is to be shared not danced!!! I will see this movie soon.

I do not think that anyone really sees Flamenco here as it was meant to be.The music is a different story. Real Flamenco is danced by the gypsys in caves or homes where they drink and one by one as the music moves them get up and express themselves. It is amazing,but i have seen children express this dance as if they know the world and all it's pain.

My cousin who is a very good flamenco dancer is coming very soon to the
bay area to teach flamenco for 4 months. She also dances tango. Victor knows her. Her name is Adela Vergara.
My opinion!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hello Igor,

There are similarities and differences between flamenco and tango. Certainly one of the similarities is the feeling in the music, which is very old world Latin (at least some tangos are more old world than others!). Another similarity is that flamenco posture projects the presence of upper body out and forward, shoulders down to mid-stomach, which is where the lead comes from in tango.

A big difference is that in flamenco partners do not touch each other. In the dances in Saura's films (Flamenco, Carmen, and El Brujo Amore) partners seem to lead and follow by gesture and suggestion rather than physical contact. A great part of the expression in flamenco comes from the arms and especially the hands. In tango not much is done with these, except possibly during poses like the Corte or Salida Americana (tango ala Valentino).

A direct descendent of flamenco in Latin social dance is the rhumba, and this is the last group dance in Saura's Flamenco movie. Perhaps the solitary nature of flamenco led to the freedom of hip movement that became the rhumba. A supposed intermediary between flamenco and tango was the Cuban habenera, but I confess I know little about that dance.

Marisa Wright said...

In response to some of these comments -

One poster said partners in flamenco do not touch - actually, in flamenco one traditionally does not have a partner AT ALL ... flamenco is a solo dance.

In flamenco, the singer leads. The dancer (i.e. me) would like to think she is the most important person in the room, but even the palmeras (the people doing the clapping accompaniment) gets paid more than she does.

I agree with the poster who said feelings in flamenco are expressed, not shared. Most flamencos dance like this, very internal and almost ignoring the audience. I've never been able to ignore the audience and for me, dancing flamenco is all about sharing with them. Probably why I never reached the first rank, LOL!

Flamenco was very influenced by South American music (the cantes de ida a vuelta).