Las Sevillanas is a typical type of Spanish Folk Music originated in Sevilla. Find out information about the Spanis dance las Sevillanas.
Originally named Las seguidillas Sevillanas supposedly derived from Castilian folk music, Las Sevillanas is a typical type of Spanish folk music originating in the south (namely, Seville; the capital of Andalusia).
Dating back to the era of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain (Isabel of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon), Las Sevillanas consists of 3 elements: the dance, the song and the music. Since 1847 it has been the iconic dance of the annual April Seville Fair where there is even a Sevillana Dance devoted specifically to it. This dance is taught in the majority of schools across the country. The music of Las Sevillanas is heard in many other fairs and festivals in the south of the country and numerous new albums are released by local groups each year. Some examples are Los Romeros de la Puebla, Los Amigos de Gines and Los Choqueros. Many of these groups have become known internationally as well as across Spain and, nowadays, the popular Las Sevillanas is even danced to in clubs!
Las Sevillanas is characterized by its graceful yet dynamic flamenco style and is even considered by some as the ´true flamenco´. Certain purists do not even consider it as flamenco and, instead, as a separate type of dance altogether.
The dance is in ¾ or even 6/8 time, split into 4 distinctive parts which are each separated with a brief interval and can be either fast or slow however, in recent years, the dance has gradually become slower.
Supposedly one of the most difficult dances, Las Sevillanas consists of complete feet, hand and arm co-ordination. It is generally danced to in pairs of either 2 women or a man and a woman but is sometimes carried out in groups, lines, or even with 2 girls and a boy. Las Sevillanas symbolizes the four stages of a man courting a woman and the music, dance and song all come to a sudden stop at the end.
The song is normally sung by local groups and the music is light and happy with lyrics based on the countryside, the neighbourhood, the marvels of Seville, the famous annual Sevillano pilgrimage to El Rocío and, of course, like any other song, love.
The music is always accompanied by a guitar which, along with the singer, begins the song. This is then often followed by 'hand-clapping' before the dance begins. The tone of the guitar depends on the song but the guitar player generally strums lightly throughout. Sometimes, there are other typically Spanish instruments which accompany the song also such as castanets, a flute, a tambourine or a small drum.
Las Sevillanas is a clear demonstration of the varied dance culture across Spain as it is one of many traditional dances and still remains popular today, even amongst the youth. This specific form of flamenco has a long and interesting history and presumably will continue to be carried on by generations of Andalusians to come.