What is Jondo Flamenco?
The UNESCO describes Flamenco as "strongly rooted in its community, strengthening its cultural identity and continuing to be passed down from one generation to the next.” This makes it both an art form and intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
The film traces the history of Flamenco to include the Rom nomads, who are said to have danced, sung and played out their hardships, during their travels from India to Spain, in what was the initial art form that then crystallized in Southern Spain with the sephardic and moorish influences creating what is Flamenco today. The story focuses on jondo or “deeply authentic expression” as a way of dancing but also a way of living.
Jondo Flamenco is one of the most ancient styles of Flamenco dancing. Jondo in itself can define the expression of a dance, musical or vocal performance of Flamenco. The author Elizabeth Gilbert might define it as the “elusive creative genius” of inspiration. Federico Garcia Lorca, the Spanish Poet spent a lifetime describing it. He says that Jondo song is like “the trilling of birds, the cry of the cockerel, and the natural music of woods and streams. It is, then, the rarest specimen of primitive song, the oldest in Europe, bearing in its notes the naked, shiver of emotion of the first oriental races.” Jondo “can be experienced at any moment, and no one can never say that such a song, or dance cannot become jondo”. (Spanish Flamenco Dance Reference Guide, 3rd Edition by Alicia Morena DiPalma). Everything depends on the performer knowing how to use it or her apprenticeship of styles, then forgetting the steps and surrendering body and soul into the dance. The surrender and allowing the spirit of the dance to take over is described as that helpful duende.
This trinity of elements is often what constitutes a “Jondo” moment and produces a “teachable” moment of intuition for both Alicia and Kristelle’s students and audiences. The duende (spirit/genius ally) and “Aqui Estoy Yo” or “Here I am” of cathartic self-affirmation unite with this heartfelt expression, jondo, to be of service during an inspired performance.
Reference links for Jondo expression in Song - 'Cante', Music - 'Toque' or Dance, 'Baile'.