How many Flamenco Expressions do you know?
Here is a little Flamenco Dictionary with the basic terms that every flamenco lover should know.
The world of flamenco has its own Dictionary. Therefore, what can happen is that we integrate flamenco words into our vocabulary without really knowing what they mean. Or maybe, despite having heard them over and over again, we do not fully understand what they refer to. And yes, it can also happen that we have been very meticulous in learning these words or that we have grown up in the flamenco universe, and we fully understand every single expression. Whatever your case is, today we want to test yout skills. Can you tell us exactly what each of the following words mean?
- Arrancarse: means to start something with a lot of passion, especially in the art of flamenco. That is why, in performances, it is said that this person se arrancó (begun) to dance, sing or play.
- Cante jondo (Deep singing): Andalusian expression to designate a deep, profound, heartfelt singing.
- Cantes de ida y vuelta (songs that went and came back): it is said to those flamenco styles that have received the influence of Spanish-American music. It is the case of the rumba or the guajira.
- Castanets: percussion instrument formed by two symmetrical pieces of wood that are joined by a cord and are held between the palms of the hands. The castanets come from Ancient Egypt, but as happened to the cajón flamenco (flamenco box), they have been integrated into the flamenco bases.
- Duende (Goblin, Elf): this term is difficult to define, because as Goethe said, it is "a mysterious power that everyone feels and no philosopher explains". It is said that an artist has duende when he transmits a special force or magic, related to the sublime or the Dionysian. The duende would be, to wax poetic, like an "angel of darkness".
- El toque: refers to the playing of the guitar. For this reason, the guitarist is also called "tocaor". It can be solo or accompanied by singing, dancing and/or clapping.
- Flamencology: the flamenco dictionary defines it as "a cultural movement that emerged in the 1950s around the study, research and dissemination of flamenco art". It was born as a consequence of the anti-flamenquism of previous years, in which the theoretical and intellectual part of flamenco was denied.
- Juerga flamenca: for those who live in Spain this may be easy, but outside perhaps few know that juerga is a synonym of fiesta (party). Therefore, a juerga flamenca is a celebration in which artists and aficionados get together to have fun, sing and dance.
- Peña flamenca: these are flamenco associations that were born in Andalusia around the sixties and spread throughout Spain and the rest of the world. In them, everything revolves around flamenco: from lessons, shows, conferences, improvisations to flamenco parties.
Olé: expression to encourage or flatter the flamenco artist while performing his art, be it dancing, guitar playing, singing.... That is to say, to "jalear". Its origin is unknown, although some versions claim that it comes from the Hebrew "jaleh", which means to raise. It would be related to another expression, arsa, which is the Andalusian pronunciation of "alza". During the show, in addition to these expressions, you can interject compliments to the artists.
Palo flamenco (flamenco variety): is each of the styles or varieties of flamenco. Among the most common are tangos, rumba, alegrías, bulerías, sevillanas, fandangos, soleá, tientos and guajira, although there are also tientos, siguiriyas, taranta, farruca, zambra, tanguillos, cantiñas?
Pataíta (Kick): it is a very frequent movement in bulerías dancing. It is a zapateado that marks the rhythm and accompanies the guitar and usually occurs at the end of the dance.
Quejío (Whine): in certain flamenco songs you have surely heard a cry sung in the form of "ay" or "ay,ay,ay". These are the quejíos. These laments usually appear, above all, in the saddest or most solemn palos, such as the fandango, the soleá or the siguiriya.