Flamenco Vivo on Spotify
Our latest Spotify playlist “Navidad” will transport you to a holiday celebration in Andalucía, featuring flamenco versions of Spain’s most cherished Christmas songs.
FROM SPAIN: CULTURE
ADVENTURES OF FREDDY FLAMENCO LOVER
Holiday Celebration in Sevilla
In Andalucia, and I’m talking about every village or town, there is a Zambomba event taking place all the time throughout the month of December. Zambomba has two meanings in Spain. It is a musical instrument, a friction drum made of a ceramic base, leather drum head, and bamboo rod in the middle. But it’s also a celebration that takes place in Andalucía in the run-up to Christmas. Friends and relatives gather in courtyards, squares, and flamenco peñas to sing flamenco Christmas carols – accompanied by instruments such as zambombas, tambourines, and guitars.
I did see two Zambombas recently here in Sevilla. The first was at the Teatro Los Remedios, in Triana, and featured great flamenco singers Alicia Gil and Eva Mengibar. The show had funny jokes and lovely singing, and the whole crowd was singing along to almost all of the songs. What a joy and for me, and again proof that Andalucia is the place to enjoy the Flamenco and experience the culture of the people. Even for those who are not flamenco artists, the Zambomba makes them happy and they sing like never before. I saw another zambomba in a much smaller setting with the great flamenco dancer Miguel Vargas and his son David Fernández (yes, also the son of Esperanza Fernández, one of the most famous flamenco singers at the moment). This zambomba had more young people keeping the tradition of the Zambomba alive! It was fantastic! That the young kids love the Zambomba so much is a good sign that the tradition will live on.
What songs did we sing? Villancicos (Christmas carols) like “Calle San Francisco” and “La Virgen María.” This coming week I will see many more Zambombas in the streets of Sevilla, and I love it. Whenever you can come in December to Andalucia you must see the Zambomba events— Únicamente y Fenomenal. They are one of a kind!
LEARN MORE ABOUT ZAMBOMBAS IN SPAIN:
FROM OUR ARTIST DEVELOPMENT SERIES CLASS: “100 YEARS” REVISITED
Who was the first person to ever be filmed dancing?
In our class “100 Years” Revisited with Meira Goldberg and Ninotchka Bennahum, we learned that the first dancer to ever be captured on film was Carmen Dauset Moreno, aka Carmencita. An Andalusian dancer trained in Spanish Classical dance (a form that influenced the development of flamenco), she was the very first person to appear dancing in front of a motion picture camera–in 1894!
Watch the clip of this historic moment above, and you might notice her performing a predecessor of the flamenco turn known as the vuelta quebrada.