Flamenco music has it’s origins in ancient Andalucian history, possibly well before the Moorish settlements, and is believed by many experts to be a complex amalgam of Iberian, Arabic, Shepherdic, and Gitano musical styles that really matured after the reconquest of 1492, and then over the next few centuries. Over the last millenium Flamenco has spread to the rest of Spain and the former Spanish colonies in Central and South America.
It’s not often that I take guest posts here at Ronda Today but I quite like this informative article written by Georgina Roake (the Library Lady) after her visit to Ronda. At the bottom of this page you will find a link to her website and blog. Thanks Georgina! :)
“Ronda is one of Spain’s most popular travel destinations. Home to scores of stunning views and a famous bridge, it’s also known for its flamboyant past. Early inhabitants were a colorful bunch, with a large percentage of bandits, highwaymen, and bullfighters filling out the ranks. Many of these legendary men, and sometimes women, hailed from Serranía de Ronda and surrounding Andalusia. Continue reading Bullfights and Bad Guys, Ronda’s Provocative Past
Sometimes it is easy to forget how inspiring the Ronda bridge on the Tajo gorge actually is. It’s photographed from the air, from below. It’s painted by artists from all over the world, used in films, TV adverts and adored by the people of Ronda.
Recently, a family of architects and engineers from Russia (Moscow) visited Ronda for the second time. They love Spain and especially the city of Ronda and the bridge “hovering over the abyss” made a great impression on them and their son Valentine. So much so that he decided to study the history of the Puente Nuevo and make an architectural model.
The whole family helped build the model out of Cardboard and paper and Valentine took part in a model competition and also gave a speech at the research school conference telling the audience the history of the bridge in Ronda and about the city itself
I am so pleased to know, that the amazing bridge and beautiful city of Ronda stll inspires young people like Valentine to discover and learn!
Well done Valentine Tselikov! :)
Whilst walking around Ronda you will see many statues and perhaps the most famous is the fountain, Hercules and the two lions in the Plaza Socorro. Created and installed in 2002 the story behind the statue is fascinating. (Further reading link at the bottom of this page.)
The sculptor, Nicomedes Díaz Piquero was Born in El Tiemblo (Ávila) on September 15, 1936. Showing his artistic talent from childhood. Born into afamily of farmers, he was the second youngest of 11 brothers. An intelligent child and eagerness to learn his academic results were excellent and obtained a scholarship at the age of 14, in 1950, and was admitted to the aprentice school of Ávila where he began training in Cantería. (Stone and quarry work.)
It was not long before the head of the school saw in Nocomedes his great gifts for drawing and modeling so he was offered the option of also attending the school of arts and crafts. Between 1951 and 1953, he studied at both schools until he was 16 years old and finished training at the Stonemason’s Workshop. In 1953, at the age of 16, he obtained the first prize for sculpture in the Diputación de Ávila. And in turn, was granted an extension of his scholarship. He continued his studies at the School of arts and crafts of Ávila where his teachers advised him to attend a higher school of fine arts. In 1955 he moved to Seville to attend the superior school of fine arts and in June of that year he took the entrance exam and passed both the exam and the preparatory course.
So promising was his talent that the school board supported a grant of stay and extended his time at the school to the next course as well. The young Nicomedes stood out among his peers and obtained the Martinez Montañés Prize in 1955 and again in 1956 he won the prize for the best grades of the course. His professors asked him to consider that he expand his formative horizons so he goes to the superior school of beautiful arts in Madrid and thus started the amazing carrer of one of the finest and talented sculptors in Spain.
Much loved by everyone in the art world for his gentle kindness and exceptional talent Nicomedes died in 2017
THE PLAZA IS CURRENTLY BEING REFORMED BUT WE ARE ASSURED THAT ONCE THE WORKS ARE FINISHED IN APRIL 2019 THE STATUE WILL BE REPLACED IN THE PLAZA SOCORRO.
No trip to Ronda would be complete without hearing at least a small amount of Flamenco guitar. But to visit one of Celias concerts is an absolute treat. She is one of the most talented flamenco guitarist I have ever heard and she can be seen playing at Calle Calvo Asensio, 8. (RONDA) at 6pm and 7.30pm most nights. The concerts last for 1 hour.
At 15 euros per person, the entrance fee is amazingly cheap to see this wonderful composer and musician. You can go to her website and hear some of her work as the music starts to load as you open the home page. Check out the below video to see here in action. Truly talented.
“Flamenco”—the word calls up an image of a slender dancer in an elaborate, ruffled costume with her fringed shawl and her castanets. Certainly, this stereotype has been perpetuated in everything from airline posters to dolls made for souvenirs. To some, this is flamenco for tourists, as they embrace the cante jondo, the deep song of agonizing lament sung by a man, a cantaora, without accompaniment, or with a single guitar. This, they claim, is authentic flamenco, the blues of Andalucía, improvised in jam sessions called juergas, sung because it must be sung, not because someone is listening or watching.