UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE IN ANDALUCIA
Flamenco was recognised as Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2010.
The art form which originated in Andalucia is now firmly established in the hearts and minds of Andalucians. Flamenco has more peñas (clubs) in the region than football, which is saying something - the sport is huge here.
Flamenco is very closely associated with Andalucia, as showed in the results of our readers' survey on "What Andalucia is most famous for": 21% of you voted for flamenco, beating other typical aspects of beautiful southern Spain such as the weather, beaches, bullfighting and tapas.
Visitors to the region shouldn't miss a flamenco show - the most authentic espectaculos are informal, spontaneous and hard to find (try bars in Triana in Seville, or the barrio Santiago in Jerez); tablaos are sniffed at by purists, and are pricey, but give you an idea of what this passionate art form is all about.
The full UNESCO statement:
"Flamenco is an artistic expression fusing song (cante), dance (baile) and musicianship (toque). Andalusia in southern Spain is the heartland of Flamenco, although it also has roots in regions such as Murcia and Extremadura. Cante is the vocal expression of flamenco, sung by men and women, preferably seated, with no backing singers. The gamut of feelings and states of mind - grief, joy, tragedy, rejoicing and fear - can be expressed through sincere, expressive lyrics characterized by brevity and simplicity. Flamenco baile is a dance of passion, courtship, expressing a wide range of situations ranging from sadness to joy. The technique is complex, differing depending on whether the performer is male (heavier use of the feet) or female (gentler, more sensual movements). Toque or the art of guitar playing has long surpassed its original role as accompaniment. Other instruments, including castanets, hand-clapping and foot-stamping are also employed. Flamenco is performed during religious festivals, rituals, church ceremonies and at private celebrations. It is the badge of identity of numerous communities and groups, in particular the Gitano (Roma) ethnic community, which has played an essential role in its development. Transmission occurs through dynasties, families, social groups and Flamenco clubs, all of which play a key role in its preservation and dissemination."