A Spanish dance
Intangible Cultural Heritage
Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) or what some call “Living Heritage” encompasses many traditions, practices and customs. These include the stories we tell, the legends handed down from generation to generation, the family events we celebrate, our community events, the languages we speak, the songs we sing, knowledge of our surroundings and how that culture has survived and lived with their environment, any traditions of medicines and healings, the recipes and food eaten within a cultures, the holidays that are celebrated and the beliefs and practices for that culture.
Flamenco is a dance originating in Spain, that is highly-expressive and very emotional. It is generally a dance undertaken by an individual alone and involved hand clapping, detailed and musical footwork, and intricate hand, arm and body movements. Flamenco is a genuine Spanish art, which is known to come from the Southern Spanish area. The dance exists in three forms: Cante, which is the song; Baile, which is the dance itself and Guitarra, which is the guitar playing.
Flamenco is considered to the symbol of the Spanish Culture. Although the dance on its own is called Sevillanas, Gypsies are very often thought to be the original instigators of the Flamenco and it accepted that they definitely played a very important part in its creation. The popular and known songs and dances of the Andalucia region of Spain influenced early Flamenco considerably. Many of the songs reflect the spirit of desperation, struggle, hope and pride of the people who were persecuted during the Spanish Inquisition of 1492, when the Moor, Gitano and Jewish people were harrassed, ill-treated and expelled. The Gitanos were key to maintaining the Flamenco art form and in particular, as they liked singing, sp their songs were passed on to generations who continued to perform them. There are questions of the origin of Flamenco as it goes back many hundred of years in various forms. Some have said it was just songs, others say just dance with clapping and stamping of feet without the guitar, while others say all was included particularly when instruments came about.
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