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    The meaning of clothing in flamenco dancing

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    During flamenco dancing and Feria de Abril, women attendees wear the flamenco dress, otherwise known as “bata de cola”(Schreiner, 1990, pg 171). They adorn their bodies by wearing this dress and accessories to the hair and neck. The dress can be in a variety of bright colors and range from having a short or long sleeves, mid length or long trains, along with different patterns. They continue to adorn their bodies with either matching or coordinating accessories such as a comb, flowers in hair, scarfs or shawls, jewelry and a fan. The structure of the dress is long and tight fitting which includes the signature train.

    The structure of the dress being fitting was meant to enhance a women’s figure but also hide her flaws. The bata de cola is made up of many ruffles and usually trails behind the dancer. The meaning of the adornment of ruffles and fringes are to make the simple fabrics look more beautiful, as well as add drama and accentuate the rhythm of the music. Flamenco dancers also have their hair pulled backed into a bun with the use of peinta (decorative comb), and often a flower.

    The meaning of this signature hairstyle and adornment is with the hair pulled back, it shows off the neck and makes the dancers neck look more round and thinner. The added hair accessories of a comb and flower help keeps the hair in place and draws attention to the dancer. The use of earrings also helps to accentuate the neck. Flamenco dancers also wear heels with the bata de cola. This is important for the zapatedo, which is heel and foot stamping (Schreiner, 1990, pg 172). The meaning of heels as part of adornment in flamenco dancing is to help create movement with the ruffles of the skirt and produce sound.

    Dancers also often dance with laced fans. The meaning of this adornment is to emphasize wrist and hand movements of the dancer. The use of a mantan (shawl) is often used while performing to add more color to the costume and movement in performance. The color red is popular in flamenco dancing. The color red is associated with passion, love and vibrance, which is illustrated in flamenco dancing.

    Male dancers who perform in flamenco dancing have less adornments than women dancers. For male dancers they traditional wear a button up shirt under a short vest or jacket with tight fitting pants. The men wear traditional flamenco shoes that often have nails driven in certain parts of the sole of the shoe.

    The meaning of wearing this shoe is to help amplify sound from stepping. Hand accessories male dancers sometimes accessorize with are paillios, which are percussion instruments that are tied to the thumb of the male dancer’s finger. The meaning of this accessory is to create the clicking sound. However, male attendees at Feria de Abril who ride the carigdges or horses wear what is known as the “traje corto”; which includes a wide brimmed hat and fitted pants with a short vest.

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