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Arts Toolkit

Arts Toolkit: Dance Video Clips




In the introduction, host David Thurmond explains the origins of flamenco dance and its worldwide appeal. He tells students to note the interplay among dancer, guitarist, and clapper; the sounds the dancer’s heels make as they click on the floor; the dancer’s erect posture; and how she uses her arms to embellish the dance. This dance is an example of a “farruca,” one of the song forms of flamenco. The musicians and dancer make the piece original by improvising around the traditional structure. This example of farruca is performed by the Kentucky flamenco company Dos Aguas. The dancer, Diana Dinicola, also choreographed the dance. The music was written by guitarist Gareth Jones and bass player Sidney King. Another dancer/choreographer from Dos Aguas, Mariya Tarakanova, is the clapper, helping keep time. Farruca was traditionally a man’s dance, but in the 1930s and ’40s, great gypsy dancer Carmen Amaya shocked the flamenco world by appearing in male costume (pants) and dancing the farruca. She opened the way for today’s women flamenco dancers to adopt the flashy footwork and aggressive moves once reserved for men. Dinicola says that in this dance she also incorporates more traditionally feminine movements, such as graceful rotations of the wrists and arms, where the music is softer and more lyric—dancing not as a woman pretending to be a man, but as “a woman dancing a strong, aggressive dance as a woman.”

Suggested Uses:

  • As the focus of a student analysis of dance elements and theme (with Responding to Dance).
  • Compare to other examples of percussive dance in the toolkit: “Bluegrass Clogging” and “Jamaica Funk” on Dance Performances and “Three Irish Dances” on the DanceSense Enhanced DVD.
  • To demonstrate characteristics of percussive dance. (Show with DanceSense Program 10.)

For more information:

(These links may leave the Arts Toolkit.)

See the History and Styles and Responding to Dance sections of the Dance Arts Toolkit binder.

About Mixed Media:


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