Monday, January 29, 2007

Spain: Sensuality in not only Covered with Polka-Dots

The great variety of dresses, add-ons and accessories shook away my ignorance: flamenco dresses are not only made from spotted fabric as I thought. Actually, the polka-dot dresses were reserved to touristy souvenir shops. Locals instead, displayed variety and color.

During April's Fair’s first years, rancher’s wives would attend the fair with traditional country suits adorned with some twists. With time, high-class women began to participate in the fair, dressed with more elaborate dresses. Soon after that, the other women felt inclined to incorporate changes to their attires, until flamenco dresses became a fashion statement that change and adapt to become more modern every year.

The dresses can have a triangular, rounded or square cleavage cut, twists or no twists; women can choose to complement them with hoops, long earrings, bracelets, flowers, “peinetillas”, colorful laces or “Mantones de Manila”, depending on that year’s fashion trends.

Fashion changes, but the flamenco dress, also known as “guitar body”, continues to be tight, to highlight women’s sensuality and disguise their flaws, according the AndaluNet.

But at April’s Fair, women are not the only ones who dress to impress. Men also emphasize their masculinity with short suits, with matching pants, jacket and hat. Even though the male’s attire hasn’t evolved as much throughout time, it also follows the fashion trends of the time.

On a differnet note, we cannot ignore bullfighter’s suits; its colors and elaborate needle work represent an artwork in itself. If you pay attention to the intricate designes in their suits, you can differentiate the main bullfighter from the rest.

As people begin to dance to the rhythm of sevillanas, typical of April’s Fair, the suits seem to become even more sensual and beautiful. AdaluNet explains that sevillanas date back to the times of the Catholic King and Queen; they are usually composed of four verses of seven odd syllables, with consonant type of rhyme; its chorus has three verses, where the first one and the third one rhyme.

Even though sevillana’s themes are varied: some talk about the sea and sailors, others about life in the country and the South of Spain, others narrate daily events or talk about feelings, love affairs or politics, and even about the beautiful Seville and its neighboring tows. Regardless of the songs' theme, people dance each song with the same happiness, enthusiasm and Southern pride.

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