Olé Flamenco!


A photo-essay about flamenco, a centuries-old living art form, originating in southern Spain, that incorporates traditional dance, song, and music.
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A photo-essay about flamenco, a centuries-old living art form, originating in southern Spain, that incorporates traditional dance, song, and music.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
With bright colorful photos George Ancona introduces children to the beauty and grace of the flamenco dance. Tracing its roots from the Roma around 1000CE through the Middle East to North Africa, and finally to Europe he explains that the dance and song evoked the pain and passion of the Roma. Ancona then focuses on a family in New Mexico preparing for a performance to celebrate Spanish heritage. Each of the three parts that make up the flamenco—the song, the music, and the dance—are concisely explained and handsomely photographed. The singer reaches deep inside for the powerful emotions that make up the song, the music can be an accompanying guitar, banging of knuckles on a table, or slapping a hollow wooden box, and the dance is enlivened by the stamping of heels and the thumping of soles on a hard surface. Readers will be intrigued by the grace and line of the dancers, the beautiful colors of the ladies' dresses and the sheer exuberance of dancers and audience alike. All of these facets are captured by Ancona's artistic eye. Many readers may not be familiar with this style of dance but what better introduction? The glossary and pronunciation guide help with the Spanish words and the appended sources will be useful to teachers who wish to explore this aspect of Spanish culture with their students. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—Ancona turns his attention to flamenco in a photo essay about its history, technique, traditions, and performance. He features young students and performers of Flamenco's Next Generation, a Santa Fe group, and records their rehearsal solos and studio training. A discussion of Gypsy origins of the dance and its European development in southern Spain is included. Flamenco is presented as a changing, "living" art, incorporating the rhythms and styles of other cultures. Its three main elements—song, dance, and music—are each explained as are the performance of beat or rhythms, palmas (rhythmic hand clapping), flamenco guitar, cajón (percussive instrument), zapateado (footwork), hand positions, castanets, costuming, and facial expressions. The book's strength lies with the balance of maps, text, and colorful photographs that emphasize the joy of music through performance and family tradition. A general purchase for all libraries.—Mary Elam, Learning Media Services Plano ISD, TX
Kirkus Reviews

The latest photo essay from the prolific and award-winning Ancona (Capoeira, 2007, etc.) introduces the exciting and international world of flamenco performance. He highlights a dance troupe from Santa Fe, N.M., called Flamenco's Next Generation, where children learn the steps in preparation for live performances. A map, archival photographs and background information show how flamenco developed as the Gypsies (introduced as Roma) crossed continents and nations from India to Andalucía, Spain. The color photography, while occasionally posed, nicely displays the intricate hand movements, footwork, instruments and costumes of this art form, which evolved from emotionally charged song to highly expressive dance accompanied by percussion and guitar. The author weaves in many Spanish terms, helping to make this a good addition to titles celebrating Hispanic culture in the Southwest. A recommended list of recordings and videos would have been a nice touch, though. (glossary, bibliography)(Informational picture book. 6-12)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781600603617
  • Publisher: Lee & Low Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2010
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 803,985
  • Age range: 8 years
  • Lexile: 900L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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