XI Congreso Nacional y II Internacional
de la Asociación de Estudios Japoneses en España

Imagen Fondo AEJE


Attire of Flamenco.

Rosa María Martínez Moreno – Doctor in Social and Cultural Anthropology.

From simple observation, it is easy to notice that Flamenco has an undoubtedly attraction not only for the many Japanese visitors who come to our country and enjoy the touristic performances, but also for many Japanese scholars who show a great respect for the form and substance of this peculiar art. This interest, developed over not much more than forty years, has borne fruit in the excellent Japanese artists who we have nowadays, especially prominent in touch and dance.

At first glance, the meeting between two cultures so far apart in their space-time coordinates would not seem very compatible.

However, I will not be the only one to say this, watching the graceful movements of the flamenco dancers, and especially those magical moments when time seems to be suspended and you only can contemplate the human figure in plenitude of strength and containment, in which aesthetics is imposed on any consideration. This moment leads me to recall those beautiful compositions shown by the Kabuki, the quintessential Japanese theatre. An objection can be stated; while flamenco is shown through the dynamic explosion and sometimes excess, the Japanese art is expressed through immobility and containment. But superficial observation could lead us to a mistake; both artistic expressions are based on tragic feelings, concentrated and deep, to life. At this point the sensitivities are not so strange to each other.

Since my specialty is the study of attire and motivations of use, its influences, its historical development and its response to the factors of social change; we will analyse the flamenco attire as a dance complementary factor: as a wrapping - physical and psychological – of the body in motion, the implications of fashion in the dynamism of formal change, and the economic aspects derived from the use and distribution in a global context.