Everybody knows that flamenco music and dance come from Spain, but the exact origin is unclear and even the name 'flamenco' is still a mystery. What we do know for a fact is that the ‘gitanos’ or gypsies played a role. In the Middle Ages, they imported flamenco from India. Later, the Moors, Jews, Africans, South Americans and Spaniards all left their mark on the dance.
Guitar music, raw vocals, hand clapping, castanets and dance – the main ingredients of flamenco haven’t changed in the last 2 centuries. The footwork is relatively new: the stamping was only introduced 100 years ago. For many ‘gitanos’ and ‘payos’ (non-gypsies), flamenco is not just folklore but a lifestyle and a major art form. The rousing folk music with its flamboyant dance can be seen live in one of the many 'tablaos' (flamenco cafés) in Madrid, the flamenco capital of Spain.