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Madrid: the females of the flamenco world

According to euronews, "Women have often been the inspiration or driving force behind flamenco, yet over the years they have been relegated to second place." Flamenco is a style of Spanish music and dance traced to the Andalusion gypsies, though today the genre is also influenced by musicians from Latin America. The article on euronews ("The feminine side of flamenco") focuses on three female flamenco performers participating in Ellas Crean ("Women Create"), a flamenco festival in Madrid devoted to females of the genre.

Rocío Márquez, nicknamed the "the Southern Star" due to her impressive flamenco voice
photo via esmadrid.com

"I think regarding the world of flamenco the situation is changing.... the percentage of women winners is certainly increasing," observes Rocío Márquez.

Esperanza Fernández
photo via tristeyazul.com

Esperanza Fernández, an accomplished flamenco singer and dancer, expands on the changes in the flamenco world: "Women were always relegated in the largely male world of flamenco. Although Pastora, one of the greatest flamenco singers, has helped us overcome this discrimination. Thanks to her, many of us have been able to continue singing and have achieved recognition in this universe of flamenco."

Marina Heredia
photo via deflamenco.com

Another flamenco singer, Marina Heredia, agrees with Márquez and Fernández, and can observe the changes in times by comparing her flamenco career with that of her grandmother's. "Flamenco has moved parallel with society because at a time it was dominated by men," she notes. "But with the evolution of society itself, women started to be taken seriously in flamenco. My father was a flamenco singer and so was my grandmother, but she was forced to give up her career and go home. It was not done for a woman to dedicate her life to flamenco in her time."

The Ellas Crean festival started in February and will continue through April 4th, 2010. You can learn more information on their website >>

For more artist-specific information:
Rocío Márquez: rociomarquez.com
Marina Heredia: marinaheredia.com

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