A dance, a way of singing and of playing the guitar: Flamenco is all this, even if originally, it was a secular, popular type of song which was rough, plaintive, wild, exalted, powerful, barren and incantatory. Its origins can no doubt be traced back to Antiquity.
"Flamenco, flame, the fire cantaores fan in their throats... It's a fire which must be extinguished to put an end to suffering." (Lucien Clergue).
Song is the main mode of expression for Flamenco and its ritual never changes. Over the years, some great male and female vocalists have left their mark on history: Carmen Amaya (who was both a singer and a dancer), La Perla de Cádiz, Tia Anica La Piriñaca, La Paquera de Jerez, La Nina de los Peines, Porrina de Badajoz, Canalejas de Jerez, José Menese, Curro de Utrera, Camarón de la Isla, Juan Talega, Beni de Cádiz, Manuel El Agujeta, Terremoto de Jerez, Manuel Soto El Sordera, Pepe Marchena, El Niño del Almadén and Rafael Farina are among the most remarkable figureheads of Flamenco. Guitar music shines just as bright in the hands of Paco Aguillera, Pedro Bacan, Paco Cepero, Roman El Granaino, Pepe Habichuela, Paco de Lucia, Melchor de Marchena, Carlos Montoya, Nino de Ricardo and Sabicas.