Flamenco: Artistic and Cultural Expression

ISA Seville Study Center

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Flamenco: Artistic and Cultural Expression

  • Host University

    ISA Seville Study Center

  • Location

    Seville, Spain

  • Area of Study

    European Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    USF Code: DAN 4930

    Prerequisite: none; class taught in English. 
    Students: ISA students
    Contact hours: 45 

    I. Course Description: 
    Flamenco today encompasses such a broad spectrum of sounds and influences that it’s difficult for someone approaching it for the first time to tell what is old or new, or, what flamenco is in the first place. Meanwhile, musicians, dancers and singers from around the world are embracing this art form as a means of expression. This course aims to inspire interest in all aspects of this art form: singing, dancing and guitar!
    Designed to provide a complete experience of flamenco, this course includes practical, participatory workshops with professional flamenco artists, lectures and readings focused on flamenco’s history, as well as audiovisual material familiarizing students with the various flamenco rhythms and styles. 
    Students will be given a general introduction to flamenco as a cultural phenomenon in the context of Andalusian society, and common misunderstandings and preconceptions will be addressed. Flamenco´s changing image due to publicity campaigns and politics will also be discussed.
    Throughout the practical workshops, students will learn to recognize various flamenco palos, to play palmas, and to dance bulerías. Students will also be given the opportunity to compare flamenco as seen in tablao and theater settings. 
    Significant and innovative artists in the history of flamenco will be discussed throughout the course and reflections on the future of flamenco will be made in the context of recent changes. For the first time in its brief history, flamenco has become a true point of convergence for Spanish and foreign-born artists.

    II. Learning outcomes:
    The student will
    -    analyze the historical contextualization of flamenco dance.
    -    understand its importance as a cultural phenomenon.
    -    study the origin of prejudices and stereotypes in the flamenco world.
    -    its importance as a cultural phenomenon
    -    get familiar with the understanding of the aesthetic criteria and the structural and expressive resources.
    -    learn about the basic techniques of flamenco dance:
    -    Knowledge, awareness and body language in flamenco dance
    -    The “zapateado” and other sonorous resources with the body as stylistic resources
    -    The importance of the proper use of space, the integration of a group and communication with the public.
    -    study the most representative figures of flamenco and what they have contributed.

    III. Course contents (order of content may be modified):

    Section I. What is Flamenco?

    1, Historical Overview of Flamenco History
    2. Introduction: Cante, Toque, Baile 
        ▪ Important terms: compás, palmas, jaleo, palo, juerga
        ▪ Flamenco…what kind of name is that?
    3. Cultural Influences in Andalusia
    4. The Inhabitants of the Iberian Peninsula: A Melting Pot
    5. The Gypsy Story
    6. Five Cultures: Christians, Muslims, Gypsies, Jews and Africans
    7. Flamenco in the 19th Century
    8. Flamenco Academies: Codification of Flamenco 
    9. The Golden Age: Cafés Cantantes 
    10. Creation of European Exoticism: Carmen!
    11. The Mines: Foreign Investment, Migration and Flamenco’s Evolution
    12. Flamenco in the 20th Century
                • Federico García Lorca and the Cante Jondo Competition in Granada (1922)
                • Opera Flamenco 1920-1936; 1940-1950
                • Franco and Flamenco: Gender Roles and Creation of “Typical Spanish”
    13. Flamenco in New York and Hollywood: Carmen Amaya, Sabicas, Antonio “El Bailarin”
    14. Flamenco Festivals and Flamenco Tablaos: 1970’s 
    15. Looking Towards the Future: 21st Century and Beyond
    16. Museo del Baile Flamenco Cristina Hoyos (2006)
    17, UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (2010)
    18. Fusion and Confusion: True Fusion or Aflamencado Music
    19. Flamenco Abroad: Santa Fe, Tokyo, Copenhagen

    Section II. Living Flamenco

    1. Guitar    
        • Terms: falseta, rasgueo, pulgar, cejilla 
        • Andalusian Cadence
        • Trends and Important Artists 
    • Montoya, Niño Ricardo y Paco de Lucia
    2. Song 
        • Terms: melisma, quejío, ayeo, matiz
    • Recurrent Themes
        • From Fandangos to Solea: Over 200 Styles
        • Trends and Important Artists 
    • Niña de los Peines, Mairena, Chocolate y Camarón 
    • Film: Flamenco
    3. Dance

    • Terms: marcaje, remate, zapateo, patada 
    • Which styles do you dance?
        • African and Indian Influences
    • Film: Latcho Drom
        • Trends and Important Artists 
    • Argentinita, Vicente Escudero, Antonio Gades
    ▪ Juerga: A Flamenco Gathering
    • Who, When and Where?
    • Improvisation
    ▪ Evolving Expressions: Tablao vs. Theater
    • Peña Torres Macarena
    • Teatro Central

    IV. Bibliography:

    Cisneros-Kostic, Rosamaria. An Investigation of the Paradox of Andalusia: History, Politics and Dance Art. University of New Mexico, 2009. Unpublished Thesis.
    Heffner Hayes, Michelle. Flamenco: Conflicting Histories of the Dance. Jefferson: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2009.
    Flamenco. Dir. Carlos Saura, Canal+ España & Juan Lebron Producciones, 1997. Film.
    Latcho Drom. Dir. Tony Gatlif, K.G. Productions & Canal+, 1993, Film.
    Leblon, Bernard. Gypsies and Flamenco. Hertfordshire: University of Hertfordshire Press, 1994.
    Lorca, Federico García. In Search of Duende. New York: New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1998.
    Pohren, D.E. The Art of Flamenco. Morón de la Frontera: Society of Spanish Studies, 1967.
    Schreiner, Claus, ed. Flamenco: Gypsy Dance and Music from Andalusia. Portland: Amadeus Press, 2000.
    Washabaugh, William. Flamenco: Passion, Politics and Popular Culture. Oxford: Oxford International Publishers, Ltd., 1996.

    V.I. How to succeed in this course:
    To successfully complete this course, attendance is essential as enables the necessary participation. Both spontaneous and prepared interaction are categories used in the evaluation.
    For this course it is necessary that you become an active learner. Take the initiative and develop self-study habits to assure you stay on track as we will be covering a lot of material and move quickly.
    The Flamenco Diary is an essential part of this course. The diary will help you to record what you have learned, what amazed, inspired or confused you about this cultural and artistic expression. Develop a habit to keep your diary updated to assure you stay on track 

    VI. Grading scale
    Final grades will be calculated according to the following scale:

    Grading Scale (%)
    94-100 A
    90-93 A-
    87-89 B+
    84-86 B
    80-83 B-
    77-79 C+
    74-76 C
    70-73 C-
    67-69 D+
    64-66 D
    60-63 D-
    0-59 F

    Grade dispute: 
    The deadline for claiming grades is 30 days from the receipt of the certificate at the university of origin.

    VII. Course policies

    VII.I. Attendance: 
    Class attendance is mandatory and is taken every class day and it is reflected in the course attendance sheet.
    An 85% attendance rate is required for the successful completion of the course. Perfect attendance will be taken positively into account in the participation section. 
    If a student exceeds this limit, 1 point will be taken off of the final grade (Spanish grade). Reaching a 20% of unexcused absences means that the transcript for this subject will show “not attended course”. 
    Excused absences: Medical Certificates that will be considered only if issued by a physician (not notes from the family explaining the student’s absence). The certificates must include the exact dates for which a student should be excused for having missed classes. Courses cannot be audited, so attendance is possible only for students enrolled in a specific class. 
    Punctuality: Students are expected to arrive on time to class and to return directly to class after class breaks. Arriving 10 minutes late (or more) and/or early class departures are considered unexcused absences and will be taken into account as half an absence. 

    Attending class is not only the presence in the classroom. The professor will encourage active participation in the course and it will be taken into account as part of the evaluation.  

    Courses cannot be taken as auditors, thus attendance is possible only for students enrolled in a specific class.

    VII.II. Conduct in class.
    Students who actively participate in classroom activities and who maintain a professional and respectful attitude will be evaluated positively. Students must not eat or use laptops during the class (unless specifically authorized by the teacher).  

    VII.III. Late work. 
    One half point will be taken off (from the learning activities grade) for homework that is submitted late repeatedly. Late assignments will be corrected but will not be graded. 
    Missing a class does not release the student from completing the homework assigned or studying the topics covered in class that day. 

    VII.IV. Make-up exams:
    If a student cannot be present for an examination for a valid reason (see V.II.) and approved by the teacher and academic direction, a make-up exam will be given. 

    VII.V. Quizzes retention:
    After quizzes are graded, the professor will review the examination with the class and collect all exams. The quizzes will be retained for one semester following the current one, and then they will be destroyed. 

    VII.VI. Academic Honesty:
    Students are expected to act in accordance with their university standards of conduct concerning plagiarism and academic dishonesty. 

    VII.VII. Special accommodations: 
    Students with special needs who require reasonable accommodations, special assistance or specific aid in this course (either for properly making-up classes, taking exams, etc.) should direct their request to Academic Coordination during the first days of the course in the case that they did not report it when submitting the Health Form. 

    Teaching staff is required to report any disclosures harassment or violence of any kind. 

Course Disclaimer

Please note that there are no beginning level Spanish courses offered in this program.

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations


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