In the midst of a busy restaurant no one seems to notice as a guitarist tunes his guitar and a dancer positions herself onstage. Then, at a moment's notice intricate footwork and mesmerizing melodies flood the air. The intensity awakens us to here and now, and, in a heartbeat, we are simultaneously transported elsewhere, to some other time.
A beautiful passionate gypsy-andalusian art form, Flamenco is both music and dance and more; it is a way of life. Since the early 1900s Flamenco has evolved from the melting pot of Andalusia, Spain -- where moors, jews and the gypsies, who had migrated from India, coexisted in the face of oppression. Throughout the years the music has absorbed elements from other cultures, but always maintained its purity of intention. Its beauty and passion strums the hearts of many outside of its birthplace.
Today, it is possible to find Flamenco in major U.S. cities’ tablaos or restaurants where artists, who are well versed in the structure and language of the music, can improvise. While we live in a fast-paced world, in the comfort of so much technology, the raw beauty and honest intensity of Flamenco is a call to “live now,” to tune into the blood in all our veins and the duende that can breathe through us.
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