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date: 22 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the coping strategies and struggles of five European and American flamenco dancers seeking employment opportunities in a competitive marketplace profoundly affected by the economic downturn in 2005. Shifts in the performing arts system indicate that the need to fill theaters with dancers direct from Spain takes precedence over supporting local companies, a marketing strategy compounded by the limitations of what audiences frequently expect in flamenco performances. As a cultural industry, the link between Carmen and flamenco creates anachronistic ideations that limit innovative interpretations. Another recent development is that rehearsal and performance spaces are rapidly dwindling due to rampant gentrification, especially in large cities. Through a series of interviews, these five dancers reveal how they negotiate obstacles and detours as they strive to convey the essence of Spanish culture in flamenco and to present well-crafted work that reflects them as individual, spirited artists.

Keywords: cultural industry, economic downturn, flamenco, gentrification, Carmen, Spanish culture

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