At first, they did it behind closed doors. It was the baile funk of 19th-century Spain, a suggestive dance borne out of the clashing of cultures. Old World Europe thought flamenco's racy, rhythmic handclapping, foot stomping, and hip twirling was just a bawdy contribution from those bastard Gypsies. In reality, it was influenced by everyone from the Moors and the Jews to Catholics with a Visigoth past. Soon enough, flamenco shows were held in cafés cantantes all over Spain. The dance became so commercialized that even poet Federico García Lorca started a campaign to return it to its carnal roots.
And it is indeed the commercialized flamenco that comes to the Arsht Center (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) this weekend as part of Flamenco Festival Miami. This Saturday, witness the contested and impassioned dance at Gala Flamenca: Todo Cambia with famed dancers Rocio Molina, Pastora Galván, Manuel Liñán, and Belén López.
Sat., Feb. 13, 8 p.m., 2010