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Flamenco is made up of four elements, Cante-Voice, Baile-Dance, Toque-Guitar, and the Jaleo, which roughly translated means �hell raising� and involves the handclapping, foot stomping, and shouts of encouragement.
It whichever way jaleo presents itself, it is performed by the audience as well as the artiste and anyone else who feels the urge to participate.
The handclapping or Palmas is an art in itself, and although it may look easy, it is not, and the palmeros will weave intricate rhythms around the bases of the song, and in the tablaos this is used in conjunction with the zapateado.
The zapateado is the tap dance style of footwork, the dancers show piece where he will demonstrate his skill with his feet, and the noise created by this and the palmeros will be ringing in your ears long after you have left the tablao.
The addition of the guitar is surrounded in apparent mystery as the exact date is not known, but gradually the guitar was introduced as an accompanying instrument for flamenco.
Another important component of flamenco is the element known as duende, and this is shrouded in as much mystery as flamenco itself.
Writers and poets over the years have given duende a magical and mysterious
meaning, a spiritual significance that goes beyond human understanding.
The poet Federico Garcia Lorca romanticized duende saying, �Duende could only be present when one sensed that death possible.�
Many will say that duende can only be experienced in certain surroundings like an intimate flamenco session where a singer will be possessed by the dark tones of the song and the spirit will enter the mind and soul of anyone who opens up to it.
�Duende a strange presence that everybody senses but no philosopher can explain ,� or, �All that has dark sounds has duende.�
What ever you believe, duende does exist, and to experience it, is one of the wonders of this mystical art.
September 24th, 2011
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