Sigma Delta Phi is encouraging students to shout indoors on Thursday — so long as it is a jaleo: “Olé!”
The Spanish honorary is holding a flamenco performance by the Compañeros de Flamenco on Thursday at 6 p.m. in A.J.’s Café to provide a special opportunity for students to learn about Spanish culture.
“It will really enhance the cultural experiences we study,” Sigma Delta Phi President senior Patience Tyne said. “There’s nothing like seeing a piece of art in person.”
Compañeros de Flamenco is a group from Ann Arbor, Michigan, that performs throughout the state. Their events include guitar-strum flamenco music, duet and solo dances, castanets, and plenty of palmas — clapping. Tyne said the performance will also include audience participation.
“I’m excited to see the fact that it exists on campus,” said junior David Stone, the honorary’s treasurer. “It’s a great representation of a culture in a way that’s not typical on Hillsdale’s campus.”
For those who want to learn to do a golpe or zapateo, Compañeros de Flamenco is also holding a master class at 2 p.m. in McNamara Hall. No previous flamenco knowledge is necessary.
Vice President senior Alexis Garcia said flamenco is a moving dance because of its origins. It dates to the 18th century in Andalusia, the southern portion of Spain, and grew from the Romani gypsy culture there.
“It’s a very powerful sort of music, dancing,” Garcia said. “It’s got a lot of emotion. It tends to be a little more on the sad, painful feel to it, because the gypsies have had such a rough time of it.”
Since then, however, flamenco has grown popular throughout the world, especially in the United States and Japan.”
“I’ve seen flamenco twice in the past,” Tyne said. “It is very beautiful. There are a lot of pieces to it that show its distinct cultural influences.”
Traditional flamenco combines singing, typically in a deep style, and guitar playing with dance. The custom is well-known for long, ruffled skirts, flowers adorning hair, and the bullfighting costumes of the men.
Tyne said holding an event like this one has been a dream of hers since freshman year when she started the Spanish club. Finding herself without the resources at the time, she said she is thankful to be able to finally make this dream a reality and stretching the honorary beyond the meal-time talks and an occasional movie showing.
“I am looking forward to watching everyone’s reactions and seeing everyone enjoy the performance and applauding this unique style of music,” Tyne said.
Garcia said she looks forward to seeing flamenco for the first time in person. Having grown up in a town near the border of Mexico, she said she is familiar with Latin American folkórico dances but looks forward to experiencing a Spanish folk performance.
“I hope people get a taste of Hispanic culture,” Garcia said. “It’s great exposure to something new and something you’ve probably never seen before.”