Attending another flamenco gig at Chiswick last weekend (a vain attempt to kick-start the “summer”) reminds me of the riches of the genre.
I wrote a series of posts with the aid of the remarkable documentary series Rito y geografïa del cante. As I observed, flamenco is about as far as you could possibly get from its cosy tourist image—Torremolinos, castanets, rose between the teeth, and all that.
- Flamenco, 1: palmas—soleares, bulerías: starting with the complex palmas metrical patterns, and some wonderful footage of the de Utrera sisters with Diego del Gastor.
- Flamenco, 2: gender, politics, wine, deviance: reading William Washabaugh, I explore the Franco era and gender, as well as the image of “departing from behavioural norms“, with more films from the Rito series illustrating family traditions and some fine female singers.
- Flamenco, 3: the soul of cante jondo: based on the work of Timothy Mitchell, this post includes the most intensely moving solo sung genres (or “self-pity, posturing machismo, hypersensitive adolescent egos, and a defensive flight into narcissistic ethnicity”) like saetas, martinetes, and seguiriyas, with singers including Niña de los Peines, Agujetas, Terremoto, and Camarón.
For yet more wonderful programmes from the Rito series, see