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A Brief History of Flamenco 佛蘭明高舞蹈的歷史簡介

Flamenco is a highly expressive, passionate and spontaneous art form believed to have originated in the southern part of Spain, with its homeland said to be principally in the cities of Cordoba, Sevilla and Cadiz in a region known as Andalucia. Although most people think of flamenco only as a flamboyant form of dance, in reality, it comprises three elements: the song (el cante), the dance (el baile), and the guitar (el toque). The guitar typically serves as an accompaniment to the song and dance, but more recently, it has also evolved to become an art form in itself.

佛蘭明高舞蹈乃一高度傳神、激情及具自發性的藝術體裁,相傳源自西班牙南部,其故鄉據說主要為位於昂達魯西亞 (Andalucia) 區一帶的科多巴(Cordoba) 、塞維利亞(Sevilla) 及卡迪士(Cadiz) 等三個城市。雖然大多數人認為佛蘭明高只是一種激情豔麗的舞蹈,但事實上, 這藝術包括歌曲(el cante)、舞蹈(el baile) 及結他(el toque) 三個元素, 而結他更於近年由傳統伴奏歌曲及舞蹈的角色, 演變成一種獨立的藝術體裁。

Flamenco was developed by gypsies in Andalucia over several centuries; by the late 17th century, it was recognized as a musical expression of the poverty, oppression and personal grief by these people. The fact that flamenco uses non-Western chord structures and progressions points to its likely oriental origins as the gypsies came from India to Spain through a series of migrations through central Europe and North Africa. During that process, not only had they brought with them their own language (now known as “romano” or “cale”) and an oriental-based music, they had also incorporated elements of the musical cultures of other inhabitants of the regions they had passed through, especially from the Moors and the Jews. As gypsies were mostly social outcasts, mistrusted and despised by most and subject to special laws and arbitrary from treatment, they retained an insular way of life and their music remained quite distinct from mainstream Spanish folk music. The cantes (songs) in flamenco reflected the harsh livelihoods and general misery of the gypsies. In this and their dependence on improvisation, flamenco music resembles the blues of African Americans under comparable circumstances.

佛蘭明高乃盤居於昂達魯西亞的吉普賽人在過去數個世紀中不斷開發演變而成,在十七世紀末期, 被認定為這些吉普賽人用以抒發窮困、壓迫和個人悲哀的音樂表達方式。佛蘭明高所採用非西方的和弦及調和結構可能源自東方, 吉普賽人於這期間從印度通過中歐和北非一直遷徒至西班牙, 就可能見証了這點。在這過程中, 他們不僅引入了自己的方言(現稱為romano 或cale) 及東方音樂文化, 更融匯了他們途經其他地區居民的音樂文化元素,尤以摩爾及猶太文俗為甚。由於吉普賽人被眾人視為已被社會拋棄的人群, 不但受人懷疑和藐視, 亦要受制於特別或武斷的法律, 所以他們過著孤立的生活, 其音樂亦一直異於西班牙主流的民間音樂。佛蘭明高中的歌曲正好反映了吉普賽人的不幸和苛刻的生活。該份情懷及佛蘭明高依重即興演奏的特色, 正好與遭遇相同的非裔美國人的憂鬱爵士樂相似。

In its earliest form, flamenco was performed in homes for immediate family and friends, solely as a personal form of expression. Its most primitive forms (deblas, martinets, siguiriyas and solea) dealt only with unhappiness, issues such as death, lost love or hardships. Over time, as flamenco evolved to incorporate elements of Spanish music in lighter forms (alegrias, bulerias, fandangos), it also developed alternative moods to express happiness. The introduction of the guitar probably accelerated this as did the development of the dance in the last century.

佛蘭明高在發展初期, 只為吉普賽人在家為致親及朋友表演, 作為個人抒發感情的方式。其最原始的形式 (如deblas, martinets, siguiriyas 及 solea) 均只以憂傷為題, 如死亡、失去的愛或生活的艱苦等事項。時而久之, 佛蘭明高逐步融入西班牙的音樂元素, 演變出較輕快的形式 (如alegrias, bulerias, fandangos), 並形成其他音樂情調以抒發快樂的情懷。結他的引入以至上世紀的舞蹈發展相信加速了這個演變過程。

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 “cafes cantantes” where flamenco could be heard in public. 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.

及至上世紀末, 佛蘭明高的歌曲和舞蹈 (el cante y el baile) 終於踏入商業範疇。最初, 一些佛蘭明高表演者受富人所顧, 到宴會或juergas演出。這造就了專業佛蘭明高藝術家的露起, 並牽起cafes cantantes 時代, 令佛蘭明高終於可在公共場合受人欣賞。與此同時, 佛蘭明高的音樂特性, 亦就個別歌曲潮流的發展而逐漸改變, 一些較原始的音樂形式漸漸被遺忘以至原全失傳, 而其他的 (如fandangos) 則極受普羅大眾的愛戴。

註:Flamenco 亦被譯為佛朗明哥, 佛拉明哥, 佛拉門哥, 弗拉門戈等。

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