Scaramouch, Scaramouch will you do the Fandango? asked a well known royal and mercuric figure.

Certainly, in Cómpeta, the Andalucian town in southern Spain, where the dance is celebrated with the dramatic sculpture above.

The fandango is an exuberant Spanish courtship dance and a genre of Spanish folk song. Probably of Moorish origin, it was popular in Europe in the 18th century and still survives in the 21st century as a folk dance. Unsurprisingly the fandango as a genre of song, exists both within and outside the flamenco or Andalusian Gypsy tradition.

Usually danced by couples; it begins slowly with the rhythm marked by castanets, clapping of hands, snapping of fingers, the stamping of feet and a gradual increase in speed. The music, in 3/4 or 6/8 time has an occasional, sudden pause during which the dancers stand rigid until the music resumes. So, the Fandango is an expression of passion in which the partners tease, challenge, and pursue each other with steps and gestures.

P.S. ‘Scaramouch’ was a clown character of the 16th-century Commedia Dell’arte, aka the comic theatrical arts of Italian literature.

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