While many companies are intent upon fusing various dance forms, Danzas Espaņolas takes the stand that the roots of Spanish dance have a richness and artistic depth that deserve viewing, not only to realize their influence on later forms, but for their own many merits.
♦ Escuela Bolera: Evolved from the court dances and popular Andalusian dances (escuela andaluza). Its golden age was from the late 1700s to mid 1800s. Danced in soft shoes and with castanets, this dance form has a codified vocabulary of dance steps that influenced later Spanish styles. Early forms are seen in paintings by Francisco de Goya and later forms caused a mania for Spanish-type dances in Europe and influenced western classical ballet.
♦ Clasico Español: Outgrowth of the nationalistic movement in music, it uses traditional Spanish dance forms in a free and often abstract interpretation of musical compositions. The dance form was born in the early 1900s and was made popular by the choreographer/dancer La Argentina followed by La Argentinita and Carola Goya.
♦ Flamenco: An amalgamation of Sephardic, Moorish and Gypsy influences with the Andalusian roots of Spanish dance and music. Originally a style of singing (cante), it incorporated musical instruments, e.g. the guitar, and dance in the 1800s flourishing in the café cantantes. It is known for its expressivity and emotional depth.
♦ Sephardic: Music and songs of the Jewish population of Spain prior to their expulsion in 1492. These secular and religious songs were primarily sung in ladino - the Spanish vernacular of the time.
♦ Folkloric/Regional: Dances particular to geographical areas often maintaining memories of historical events, characters or tradional ways of living.
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