Europe > Western Europe > Spain > Flamenco Music and Dance

Flamenco Music and Dance

By Daniel Alcalá |

Flamenco emerged from the Andalusian people to transmit its spirit to the world.


In Andalusia, there is something that goes beyond typical music and can actually be defined as a way of life: Flamenco. This is a music genre and dance characteristic of southern Spain, particularly of the Andalusian region. In 2010, the UNESCO declared this music style that combines guitars, castanets, and hand clapping as well as a unique way of dancing, World Cultural Heritage and Andalusian Ethnologic Intangible Heritage.


Flamenco attracts many tourists to southern Spain, since there are numerous events in which visitors can learn about this art. There are also routes that include several festivals and fairs that are organized in different cities. In each of them, travelers can watch performances of the different varieties of Flamenco.


Its origin is unknown. However, it’s said that it comes from Arab chants, especially because that culture inhabited Spain for eight centuries. There’s another theory that claims that Flamenco reflects a combination of traditions because it also has a Gipsy influence. The most common version says that it is a two-centuries-old genre that emerged from the Andalusian people with the purpose of transmitting its spirit to the world.

By the way! Opposite to what is expected, the flamingo bird did not inspire the name “flamenco”, even if some people say it did. Interestingly, it was the word Felah-Mengus, which means “wandering peasant” that might have inspired the name. Still, another version claims that the word comes from the name of the Dutch region of Flanders.


Whichever southern city of Spain you visit, whether it’s Seville, Cadiz or Almeria, you’ll always find an event in which you’ll be able to listen to the different palos of Flamenco. Palos? Yes, the word refers to the different varieties of this genre, including bulería, minera, alboreá and fandango. This last one is the oldest variety and is characterized by a continuous use of castanets. Trust us, you’ll truly enjoy flamenco. You’ll see that the bailaores (dancers) transmit their deepest feelings through their dances. They fill the choreography with inspiration, self-giving and respect, as well as humbleness and pizzazz. Take DINKtravelers’ advice and simply let yourself be possessed by the passion and intensity of their performances.


There are several world-known Flamenco artists, although perhaps the greatest fandangos and minerascomposer and guitarist was Francisco Sánchez Gómez, better known as Paco de Lucia. In your next trip to Andalusia don’t miss the concerts of Diego el Cigala, a great Flamenco singer, or Vicente Amigo, a magnificent guitarist.