How flamenco evolved
In its early form, flamenco evolved solely as a personal form of
expression, sung in The home for immediate family and friends.
The most primitive forms (deblas, martinetes, siguiriyas and solea)
deal only with unhappiness (death, lost love, hardship). With time,
flamenco also became a means of expressing happiness as it
incorporated elements of Spanish music in lighter forms (alegrias,
bulerias, fandangos). The introduction of The guitar probably
accelerated this as did The development of The dance in The last
century. Towards The end of The last century, flamenco song and
dance (el cante y el baile) entered The commercial arena.
Initially some artists were hired by rich patrons to sing in 'juergas'
or parties. This led to The evolution of 'professional' artists and
culminated in The period of The 'cafe cantantes' where flamenco
could be heard in public. Flamenco dancers also became The
major public attraction in those cafes. This evolution also led to
changes in The nature of The songs as fads developed for
particular types of cante. Many of The more primitive forms
languished and some were totally lost while others--especially The
fandangos--achieved tremendous popularity. Growing
commercialization continued sporadically until the 1950's when
the influx of tourists to post-war Spain threatened to transform
the art form completely. In part thanks to Antonio Mirena, an
excellent singer and gypsy from Mirena Del Alcor, a group of
artist (including Jose Menese, Fosforito, El Chocolate, Enrique
Morente and El Terremoto de Jerez) rediscovered the older
forms and reestablished interest in flamenco as an art form as well
as a commercial form of music. This process depended in part on
memories of older amateur singers such as Juan Talega and
Manolo Caracol. The establishment of May Flamenco Festivals
during the 1960's and 70's accompanied this revival. They
undoubtedly opened up the art to a wider public and provided
opportunities for new artists.