Flamenco Nation

+ Click on image to enlarge. The flamenco dancer Carmencita photographed by B. J. Falk, circa 1890.
+ Click on image to enlarge.
The flamenco dancer Carmencita photographed by B. J. Falk, circa 1890.

I wrote this short piece about the flamenco exhibit at the New York Public Library for Humanities Magazine last summer.

Here’s a short excerpt:

“Despite his Spanish name and dark good looks, Greco was born in Italy and grew up in Brooklyn. Like many other dancers in the show, he often crossed over into the arena of less-than-authentic Spanish dance. The pursuit of “purity,” a slippery concept when discussing a dance form that is itself a hybrid of gypsy, Arab, and Spanish folk elements, did not become a burning issue until the irruption of Amaya’s fiery, “unschooled” style. The impresario Sol Hurok called her ‘the human Vesuvius.'”