Flamenco is a form of Spanish folk music and dance from the region of Andalusia in southern Spain. In its essence it includes cante (singing), toque (guitar playing), baile (dance) and palmas (handclaps), although contemporary Flamenco has many varieties that include fusion with other musical traditions (Latin, Rock, Pop, Jazz, etc.). Flamenco grew out of Andalusian, Castilian, and Romani (Gypsy) music and dance styles in contact for centuries. Flamenco is indeed often associated with the Romani people of Spain (Gitanos) and a number of famous flamenco artists belong to this ethnic group. Flamenco was first documented in the late eighteenth century but the genre underwent a dramatic development in the late nineteenth century. In recent years Flamenco has become popular internationally and is taught all over the world, with great presence in Latin America and growing popularity in the United States. Flamenco is also particularly popular in Japan, where there are more schools than in Spain. In 2010 UNESCO declared Flamenco one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
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