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Ole Flamenco Hardcover – October 31, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Grade 3–5—Ancona turns his attention to flamenco in a photo essay about its history, technique, traditions, and performance. He features young students and performers of Flamenco's Next Generation, a Santa Fe group, and records their rehearsal solos and studio training. A discussion of Gypsy origins of the dance and its European development in southern Spain is included. Flamenco is presented as a changing, "living" art, incorporating the rhythms and styles of other cultures. Its three main elements—song, dance, and music—are each explained as are the performance of beat or rhythms, palmas (rhythmic hand clapping), flamenco guitar, cajón (percussive instrument), zapateado (footwork), hand positions, castanets, costuming, and facial expressions. The book's strength lies with the balance of maps, text, and colorful photographs that emphasize the joy of music through performance and family tradition. A general purchase for all libraries.—Mary Elam, Learning Media Services Plano ISD, TX
(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Veteran photo-essayist Ancona turns to a subject that may not be an immediate choice for children, but they’ll soon be enticed by the story of flamenco, an art form that’s more than dancing and has been around for hundreds of years. He begins with a short introduction that chronicles his visit to Spain, where he encountered Gypsies (his term) practicing the flamenco, “the art of song, dance, and music.” He then returns readers to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where a group of young people are learning flamenco. A helpful map traces the art form’s roots, while the text explains both the history of the Gypsies and flamenco. Full-color photographs capture the excitement and dazzle, though some of the images set against white backgrounds do not seem as crisp as they might. All aspects of flamenco are explored, including movements, facial expressions, and sound effects. A CD would have been a great accompaniment, but the book makes a good starting place. A glossary and resource notes complete the package. Grades 5-8. --Ilene Cooper
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