Pastora Galván, an important new figure in flamenco dance, performed at the exhibition's opening of No Singing Allowed: Flamenco and Photography, at Aperture Gallery, on February 4, 2010.

Aperture Foundation and Instituto Cervantes have partnered to celebrate and interpret the art of flamenco through photography in two exhibitions at the Aperture Gallery and Instituto Cervantes respectively, just prior to the launch of the 10th Annual New York Flamenco Festival on February 11. Both shows will remain on view through April 1, 2010.

This exhibition is coproduced by Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo and Sociedad Estatal de Conmemoraciones Culturales, with the collaboration of Centro Andaluz de Flamenco, and is made possible thanks to the generous support of Antonio Banderas Fragrances by PUIG. The exhibition debuted at the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo in Sevilla in April 2009 and is curated by José Lebrero Stals.

Whether as social phenomenon or musical expression, flamenco has been of enduring interest and inspiration to photographers from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. While some photographers from outside of Spain went in search of it or encountered it by chance, to others flamenco and its practitioners are an essential, if not innate, aspect of their cultural heritage and their photographic work. This artistic form—also considered a way of life or being—has generated fascination in cultured urban circles, remaining one of the most secret, mysterious, and seductive manifestations of twentieth-century European popular art. This exhibition of more than one hundred and fifty years of images, frequently taken by foreigners rather than Spaniards, is an extensive survey of how photographers of different eras have approached the universe of flamenco, whether documenting the dance itself, gestures that recall it, or the culture that is developed around it.

Thumbnail image: Courtesy Elliot Black

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