Flamenco is a Spanish art form with deep roots in Andalusia - Spain's southern region. There are different theories as to how this folk music evolved, but the details are lost in history.
Like American jazz, Flamenco dancing involves improvisation. It's the dancer’s spontaneous expression of the moment’s emotions. The Spanish call it "Duende" meaning goblin or fairy, but to the dancer it signifies an inner voice that fuels an inspired performance. A dancer with "duende" goes beyond technical mastery to vent his or her feelings, achieving a powerful, compelling dance. Those who aren't singing may shout encouragement: ¡Olé! or ¡baile! ¡baile! - dance! dance!
Even the origin of the name is elusive. Some attribute it to the early 1500s and the Flemish courtiers that existed during the reign of Spain's Charles V. According to this theory, their bright and garish clothing inspired the name. Others say flamenco - still referring to the Flemish - was the nationality erroneously given by the common people to Gypsies. Still others claim the name comes from the Arabic "fellah mangu" - the labourer who sings.
Flamenco combines acoustic guitar playing, singing, chanting, dancing and staccato handclapping. The flamenco dancer performs with passion, fervour, even tortured expressions, but always striving for grace and dignity.
Cara International offers a unique opportunity to combine Spanish courses with Flamenco lessons at different locations in Spain. Spanish courses cater from absolute beginner to advanced level. Students can choose from the following locations: Granada, Seville, Marbella, and Madrid.
Granada is a picturesque city situated at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. It has always been a melting pot of diverse cultures, and is the European city which shows most evidence of the Arabic Empire. The majestic palace of the Alhambra dominates the city and the neighbourhoods of Albaicín and del Sacromonte, with their renovated taverns and flamenco cafes, bear testimony to the city's past.
Madrid is a cosmopolitan, multicultural, international city that is right at the very heart of Spanish culture. It is often tagged "the city that never sleeps" because of its vibrant nightlife. The largest metropolis in the South of Europe is rich with historical, cultural and artistic treasures, and inhabited by warm, spontaneous and open people.
With almost 3,000 hours of sunshine per year, Seville boasts an extremely pleasant climate all year round. If you want to get to the heart of traditional Spain then Seville is a good place to start. Study Spanish in Sevilla and you can admire the Giralda tower, the Alcázar, and wander through the old Jewish quarters or the historic neighbourhood of Santa Cruz. Holy week and April's Feria give visitors ample opportunity to revel in Spanish culture.
Within the city you will find the old Roman town as well as a Moorish castle which is often referred to as the "muralla de la Alcazaba". Besides all this, Marbella is surrounded by some beautiful places that are a real treat for visitors. It has a vibrant nightlife with bars and discos, tapas bars, and flamenco shows.
A one week course includes 20 lessons of Spanish plus eight hours of Flamenco dance lessons in the afternoons/evenings at one of the best flamenco schools in Spain, or with a Flamenco teacher at the school premises, depending on the location. The programme fee is €395 with a ten per cent discount on all bookings before December 31 2008.
For further information contact Caroline at Cara International on 094 904 4506 or check out our website www.carainternational.net/workandtravel