2016年10月7日 星期五

Sevilla--Flamenco Dance (西維爾--弗郎明哥舞)

Flamenco is a complex song (cante jondo with its characteristic vocalizations called jaleo), dance (baile) guitar music(toque) art form originating from certain areas of Andalucia, Extemadura and Murcia of Spain, complemented by distinctive rhythmic support through handclapping (palmas) and finger snapping(pitos) and castanets and/or a hand-drum (cajon), incorporating within it also elements from the music of the Romani gypsies in Spain. Some of its rhythms may in fact be traced to places as far away as those of the gypsies of North India. This style of music probably started in late 18th century Andalucia but since 2010, has been declared by the UNESCO as one of the masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
Some scholars say that the name "flamenco" could be associated with the "flame" or "fire" one experiences in the voice and movements of the Gitano (gypsy) singers, dancers and guitar players. But in his 1933 book Orígenes de lo Flamenco y Secreto del Cante Jondo, the historian Blas Infante suggested  that the word "flamenco" owes its origin to the Hispano-Arabic term "fellah mengu", (meaning "expelled peasant" ie. the  those Moriscos (Islamic Andalusians who were forced to convert to Christianity to avoid religious persecution)  who joined the Roma gypsies.
Whatever the truth may be, we now have more than 50 flamenco styles called palos  determined by the kind of rhythmic pattern, mode, chord progression, stanzaic form and geographic origin: some are sung with guitar accompaniment and some without; some of them can be danced, and some not; some are for men and others for women and some by both. But there are signs that such traditional distinctions are breaking down eg. the Farruca, once a male dance is now frequently done by women..
There are three kinds of flamenco songs, depending on how serious they are, ranging from the  saddest and most serious cante jondo (deep song) to the frivolous cante chico (kid's song)  with some falling between the two, called "intermedio" (in between).
The flamenco cante often includes both Spanish and Arabic  folk melodies, mixed further with elements from the Persian and Jewish musical traditions. Usually, flamenco  songs, whose contents and melodies may be quite different, carry no individual song title but are simply referred by their class names  with titles such as 

Alegrías (happy) 
Bulerías( with rhythms like (1 2 [3] 4 5 [6] 7 [8] 9 [10] 11 [12] or 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 [7] [8] 9 [10] 11 [12] ) or broken down into 6/8 followed by 3/4 like ( 1 [2] 1 2 [3] 4 5 [6] 7 [8] 9 [10] -[12] 1 2 [3] 4 5 [6] 7 [8] 9 [10] 11)  and Bulerías por soleá (soleá por bulerías),
Caracoles(darn/damn/oh my goodness!) 
Cartageneras ,  
Fandango (a row) Fandango de Huelva, Fandango Malagueño, 
Peteneras (side-stepping into other things), 
Rondeñas (going round and round),  
Rumba (buzz), 
Saeta (arrow, dart), 
Seguirillas/Seguiriyas ( [1] 2 [3] 4 [5] 6 7 [8] 9 10 [11] 12  ) 
Sevillanas ( derived from an old folk dance Castilla called Sequidilla, a dance in 4 parts)  
Tangos and Tanguillos (Little Tango)
Tarantos (dazed, bewildered),  
Tientos (care, caution 
Many flamenco songs are accompanied by guitar music but with such accomplished performances by Paco Peña, Paco De Lucia, Ramon Montoya, Manitas de Plata, Pepe Romero, Pepe Martinez and The Romeros, flamenco guitar music has gone centre stage, as stand alone music genre.
A typical flamenco recital with voice and guitar accompaniment, comprises a series of pieces (not exactly “songs”) in different palos. Each song of a set of verses called copla (couplet) tercio (third ), or letras (lyrics) are punctuated by falsetas (guitar interludes). Sometimes, the guitarist s provides a short introduction which sets the tonality, compás (beat) and tempo (speed) of the cante before it is sung. . 
In certain palos such falsetas are played with typical structures e.g. in the  sevillanas with an AAB pattern, where A and B (likr A but with a slight difference in the ending).
Flamenco music is done in the so-called Flamenco mode (which some describes as a modern Phrygian mode (modo frigio), a harmonic version of that scale with a major 3rd degree, in addition to the major and minor scales used in modern Western music. The Phrygian mode occurs in such palos  as the soleá, most bulerías, siguiriyas, tangos and tientos.  A very typical chord sequence, usually called the "Andalusian cadence" may be viewed as in a modified Phrygian: in E the sequence is Am–G–F–E.. According to Manolo Sanlúcar E is here the tonic, F has the harmonic function of dominant while Am and G assume the functions of subdominant and mediant respectively. 
Guitarists tend to use only two basic inversions or "chord shapes" for the tonic chord (music), the open 1st inversion E and the open 3rd inversion A, though they often transpose these by using a capo (a bar across the guitar strings which when suitably placed on the neck of the guitar will enable the guitarist to play with the fingering positions of one chord but produce a chord in a different key and thereby simplify the fingering positions of different when different chords are required).
Modern guitarists such as Ramón Montoya, have introduced other positions: Montoya himself started to use other chords for the tonic in the modern Dorian sections of several palos; F♯ for tarantas, B for granaínas and A♭ for the mineras. Montoya also created a new palo as a solo for guitar, the rondeña in C♯ with scordatura. Later guitarists have further extended the repertoire of tonalities, chord positions and scordatura.
There are also palos in major mode: like most cantiñas and alegrías, guajiras, some bulerías and tonás, and the cabales (a major type of siguiriyas). The minor mode is restricted to the Farruca, the milongas (among cantes de ida y vuelta), and some styles of tangos, bulerías, etc. In general traditional palos in major and minor mode are limited harmonically to two-chord (tonic–dominant) or three-chord (tonic–subdominant–dominant) progressions. However modern guitarists have introduced chord substitution, transition chords, and even modulation.
Fandangos and derivative palos such as malagueñas, tarantas and cartageneras) are bimodal with the guitar introductions in Phrygian mode and the singing part in the major mode but modulating to the Phrygian at the end of the stanza.
According to Dionisio Preciado, the flamenco singing is characterized by:
 (1)  Microtonality: presence of intervals smaller than the semitone.
 (2)  Portamento: frequently, the change from one note to another is done in a smooth transition, rather than using discrete intervals.
  (3) Short tessitura or range: most traditional flamenco songs are limited to a range of a sixth (four tones and a half). The impression of vocal effort is the result of using different timbres, and variety is accomplished by the use of microtones.
  (4) Use of enharmonic scale. While in equal temperament scales, enharmonics are notes with identical pitch but different spellings (e.g. A♭ and G♯); in flamenco, as in unequal temperament scales, there is a microtonal intervalic difference between enharmonic notes.
  (5) Insistence on a note and its contiguous chromatic notes (also frequent in the guitar), producing a sense of urgency.
  (6)  Baroque ornamentation, with an expressive, rather than merely aesthetic function.
  (7)  Apparent lack of regular rhythm, especially in the siguiriyas: the melodic rhythm of the sung line is different from the metric rhythm of the accompaniment.
  (8)  Most styles express sad and bitter feelings.
  (9) Melodic improvisation: flamenco singing is not, strictly speaking, improvised, but based on a relatively small number of traditional songs, singers add variations on the spur of the moment.
According to musicologist Hipólito Rossy
 (10) Flamenco melodies are characterized by a descending tendency, as opposed to e.g. a typical opera aria, they usually go from the higher pitches to the lower ones, and from forte to piano, as was usual in ancient Greek scales
(11) In many styles, such as soleá or siguiriya, the melody tends to proceed in contiguous degrees of the scale. Skips of a third or a fourth are rarer. However, in fandangos and fandango-derived styles, fourths and sixths can often be found, especially at the beginning of each line of verse. According to Rossy, this is proof of the more recent creation of this type of songs, influenced by Castilian jota.
The compás (meter or time signature) is the soul (duende) of flamenco: the rhythmic cycle, or layout, of a palo. Without a guitarist,the compás is done by hand clapping (palmas) or drum beats from a cajon or simply by hitting the table with one's knuckles. The guitarist  will use such techniques as  strumming (rasgueado) or tapping the soundboard (golpé) and would sometimes  mark the important downbeats with a chord change..
Flamenco music is performed with three basic kinds of beats: Binary, Ternary and a form of a twelve-beat cycle that is unique to flamenco. There are also free-form styles including, among others, the tonás, saetas, malagueñas, tarantos, and some types of fandangos . Whilst the 
tangos, tientos, gypsy rumba, zambra and tanguillos are done with rhythms in 2/ 4 or 4/4,  the 
fandangos and sevillanas are done with rhythms in 3/4/4 thus suggesting their non-Roma origins since the 3/ 4 and 4/4 measures are not common in ethnic Roma music.
The 12-beat rhythms are usually done in various amalgams of 6/ 8 + 3/ 4 and sometimes in 12/ 8. The 12-beat cycle is the most common in flamenco but different palos may use different kinds of beat accentuation which doesn't correspond to the downbeat of classical music. Alternating of groups of 2 and 3 beats is also common in Spanish folk dances of the 16th Century such as the zarabanda, jácara and canarios.
There are three types of 12-beat rhythms, which vary in their layouts, or use of accentuations: 
(1) soleá, seguiriya and bulería.
(2) peteneras and guajiras: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12. Both palos start with the strong accent on
      12. Hence the meter is 12 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11.12.....
(3) The seguiriya, liviana , serrana, toná liviana, cabales: 121 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12.
      soleá, within the cantiñas group of palos which includes the alegrías, cantiñas, mirabras
      romera, caracoles and soleá por bulería (also " bulería por soleá"): 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
      12. For practical reasons, when transferring flamenco guitar music to sheet music, this 

        rhythm is written as a regular 3/4 .
Some performers prefer to stick to the "flamenco puro", considered to be closest to its gitano origins. In this style, the dance is always performed solo, with improvised rather than choreographed steps  Some purists even frown on the use of castanets (even though they can be seen in many early 20th century photos of flamenco dancers). But most Spanish flamenco dance companies adopt the "classical flamenco" style derived from the Seguidilla, a traditional Castillan folk dance: the men holding their body upright with head held high whilst the women's back is often held with a marked back bend. Unlike the more gitano influenced styles, there is little movement of the hips,  the body being tightly held and the arms  extended away from the body, as in a ballet In fact many of the dancers in these companies have also been trained in the ballet, not just the flamenco dance
There is now also the so-called "modern flamenco", a highly technical dance style requiring years of study. Here, the emphasis for both male and female performers is on lightning-fast footwork performed with absolute precision. In addition, the dancer may have to dance while using props such as castanets, shawls and fans.
In addition, a style called "Flamenco nuevo" has emerged recently, characterized by pared-down costumes (the men often dance bare-chested, and the women in plain jersey dresses). Props such as castanets, fans and shawls are rarely used. Dances are choreographed and include influences from other dance styles.
In traditional flamenco, young people are not often thought to have the emotional maturity to adequately convey the duende (soul) of the genre. Therefore, unlike other dance forms, where dancers turn professional early to take advantage of youth and strength, many flamenco dancers do not hit their peak until their thirties and will continue to perform into their fifties and beyond.

El baile flamenco is justly famous for the way it shows up dramatically the pride, the grace of the human carriage and the swiftness, decisiveness and the grace of its motion, the way it can switch postures in a split second and the way the rhythmic stamping of the feet on the wooden floor board to create very complex rhythm with lightning speed . movement. As with any dance form, many different styles of flamenco have developed. The Roma form of flamenco is considered the most "authentic" but the gypsies of Spain have adapted some of its movement so that they become more sensuous: curving around the head and body rather than extending, often with a bent elbow.

The dancer wears the kinds of dress Spanish gypsies ladies  wear at the annual Feria de Sevilla. I love the way she makes her dress fly

first in front and then behind her

The swiftness of decisive motion

What grace in her arm movement

now above her head

now on her hips

and with her dress above her head again. In classical flamenco, the male dancer appears upright proud and the woman's back is held in a marked back bend, with very little hip movement, her body held tightly, her arms extended very far away from her body and seldom above her head.  

Now it's the turn of another pair of dancers

his arms like that of a torreador tempting a bull

Fans helps to enhance the grace and speed of of delicate fingers

tapping away

complementing each other

one male bird setting in motion 4 females

Five dancers each with her moment of glory

waving and tapping each in her own way

Three pairs in action

Two with what looks like a torreador's flag

Three men

Three women

The men and women together

The men are taut, the ladies supple

All hands in the air

Plenty of swishing of fans and hemline

She has the stage all to herself

Her feet tapping only

hand around her body

raising her hemline to show her legwork

How proudly she holds up her head

Concentrating on her legwork

change of dress

It's the turn of another man now

It's truly amazing how many different types of rhythm he can create with his feet alone

hand crossed below his belly

The woman dancer responds to the invitation of his steps

The man encourages her

Another solo dancer

showing what he's got

arms stretched out

A woman can't resist the temptation

the two dancing in synchrony

Three ladies doing their thing

Two against two, each trying to outdo the other pair

Three soldiers come in

The boss gives her orders

One of them takes his pick

They're on their own again

each with her own fan

The men flaunts their capes

Flying to and fro

The lead women takes up the challenge

and engages in a duet

very close together

Her girls goads her on

She steps on to the stage with a walking stick

She is joined by three others and together they did some Broadway type tap dancing, obvious for commercial reasons.

The best male dancer does some very fast and difficult footwork on a table

with some really fast foot stamping

creating the sound which varies in rhythms, demonstrating absolute mastery and the stage is lit purple, the color of kings.

More solo footwork

little movement of the hands

focusing on the footwork

he crosses the stage without ever breaking the rhythm

True to tradition, he is encouraged by the rest of the dance troupe

He is joined by another dancer

The two of them stamping away

Moving away still dancing

The guitarists acknowledging the applause after some pure flamenco guitar work

Time for another duet

a perfect match

Time for another group performance again

All the men slim, all the women gorgeous

whirling away to the sound of their rhythmic foot stamping

Some in the traditional spotted dress

Moving in the same direction

hands held together

a pair now doing a duet, with another pair trying to do the same

Two pairs showing their skill in front of the group

each engaged in different stages of the dance

man bowing whilst the woman taps away

dancers doing the palmas

a pair acknowledging the aplauses

all tapping away

Two women at the side and the men in the centre

The lady with the hat coming forward

doing a solo, encouraged by the men

aknowledging the aplauses again

Another dance starts

One of the men shows what he's got

followed by a woman

The turn of this man now

and that of another

All dancing together

Three pairs on the left, two on the right

Time for a solo again

The final act

Two ladies in a friendly competition

The man is tempted

Everybody steps in


for the last curtain call

But not without some virtuoso display

Everyone joins in

for the grand finale

Everyone looks happy

They put in some collective footwork

with some body work

It was a really exciting show

The audience was crazy with aplauses

They did not forgot to let the audience have a retro of their performance

still dancing when the curtains are closing

So riveting was the performance that I  barely had time to have my dinner. So I had to content myself with little more than the dessert

This theatre hall in Sevilla is much bigger than the smallish tablao where I first saw flamenco dancing years ago.There I could sit just three feet from the guitar player and not more than 10 feet from the flamenco dancers and the  jondo singers.If I remember correctly, it was performed by members of the Ballet nacional de España.  I still remember how shortly after seeing that first flamenco guitar and dance performance, I bought my first Spanish guitar, a tape for learning the different types of flamenco rhythms done by Paco Pena and some flamenco guitar scores and exercises written by Manolo Sanlucar. This time I was sitting so far away and the atmosphere is much much more commercial: some of the numbers performed was more Broadway than flamenco. The "in the face" feeling I had in my previous contact with flamenco was much much more powerful and long lasting

You have to gasp for air

Waiting for our coach

The sun hasn't gone down even after the dinner performance

clouds which form the lines of a simple puzzle

finally the sun got down