The Southern region of Spain, known as Andalusia, is a magical place. The light has a stunning orange hue. Lush grasses, olive trees, and vineyards blanket a countryside of rolling hills. The food—often tapas made with fresh vegetables, cheeses and ham—is delicious. And the coast is a prime beach destination.
Digging a little deeper, one finds that this region has a complex history. Centuries are marked by conflict and diversity among cultures. The legacy of these differences still can be felt today; Moorish, Baroque and Renaissance architecture are telltale signs of a patchwork past.
Other elements of culture have been influenced as well.
Such as Flamenco. This is a form of music and dance that was born in the homes and streets of Andalusia. The exact time of origin of Flamenco is disputed, but many believe this art form came to be during the 1500s and throughout the Spanish Inquisition.
During that era, populations of displaced Romani, Jewish, and Muslim people fled for their lives and found themselves living among each other with a common mission: To survive. From this mix of cultures and difficult circumstances, music and dance rose organically as a form of therapy.
What therapy it is! As part of my Storybook adventure, I traveled to Sevilla, the capital of the region, to experience this art form for myself. Many identify Flamenco with female dancers twirling in polka-dot skirts and wearing red roses in their hair. But Flamenco has a heart and soul that runs deep. It is the expression of emotion. No matter your origins, Flamenco may call to you. As you can see from the embedded episode of “Travel with Kate,” it sure called to me.
While in Sevilla, I also made videos about tapas and romance. You can watch all those videos here. Also, be sure to read the first installment of my Storybook adventure, titled, “Traveling to follow a passion.”
How far would you go to experience a dance?