SPANISH DANCE is an artform that encompasses a great range of styles, beyond the well-known sevillanas of the feria and dramatic, gypsy flamenco. BDT's repertoire touches on all styles, from those featuring complex footwork to folk dances, classical Spanish dance, and escuela bolera, a ballet-influenced form. The art of Spanish dance can be divided into four main categories.
BAILES FOLKLORICOS are folk dances, which represent all the different regions of Spain with unique costumes, props, and instruments. Origins are diverse: Greek, Phoenician, Celtic, and Moorish. The dances vary widely, from those featuring the ruffles and guitars of southern Spain to others accompanied by a form of bagpipe in northwestern Spain. BDT's repertoire includes dances from several areas: Jota de Aragon (Aragon), Muneira (Galicia), Sevillanas (Seville), Reja (Granada), Tanguillos (Cadiz), Peteneras (Cordoba), and El Vito (Cordoba).
FLAMENCO is the art of the gitanos, or gypsies of Spain. Its expressive, intense music and dance forms have strong Arabic, Jewish, Byzantine, Egyptian, Moorish, and East Indian influences. An essential element is the taconeo or footwork providing a strong percussive element. Flamenco is traditionally an improvised solo dance, although it is choreographed for individuals and groups when adapted for the theatre. BDT's flamenco repertoire includes several styles such as Colombianas, Guajiras, Solea, Alegrias, Siguiriyas, Tangos, and Garrotin.
ESCUELA BOLERA refers to a style of classical dance from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, influenced by the Italian and French ballet masters of that period. Classical ballet principles of turn-out and jumped and beaten steps are combined with typically Spanish arm movements and castanets. BDT's repertoire in this style includes Sevillanas Boleras, Seguidillas Manchegas, Boleras de la Cachucha, Panaderos de la Flamenca, Soleares del Maestro Arcas, La Maja y el Torero, Fandango del Candil, Zapateado de Maria Cristina, La Madrilena, and Bolero Liso.
CLASSICAL SPANISH DANCE combines flamenco footwork and folkloric steps with classical music, resulting in original choreography. This style was introduced in Spanish operettas or zarzuelas. Elements include the use of fans, capes, and shawls, as well as dancers in bata de cola, dresses with long trains. Artistic Director Pedro Aurelio has choreographed full productions in this style to the music of de Falla, Granados, Albeniz, and Ravel, among others. BDT's repertoire also includes individual classical works such as La Boda de Luis Alonso.