A few men came in and started to prepare for the music. I think the person with the most difficult job is actually the singer (“cantaor”). He has to strain his voice and form what sounds like an anguished wail as he sings, since Flamenco was primarily used to express mourning for a lost love or loved one, like a lament. Even though his expression looks pained, he’s able to produce a very smoky and rich sound that mixes with the anguish to create an incredible tone. This tone then joins with the guitar to accompany the movements of the dancer. Singers also contribute to the beat of the music by clapping their hands and tapping their feet. It’s all very mystical. While watching the performance, you get really caught up with the music and movements.
Then, towards the end they started performing celebratory songs, like for a wedding of some sort. It was much more upbeat and fast-paced; you could definitely tell it was for a happy occasion.
Video 1: Not that much Flamenco dancing going on (lots of fan-waving), but this is a great clip if you want to hear the voice of the cantaor.
Video 2: Lots of quick-moving footwork and you can hear the clapping really well in this. Can you identify the 12-count beat of Flamenco?