Flamenco, Spanish music and dance typical of the Gypsy, or gitano. Flamenco dancing is characterized by colorful costumes, intense and erotic movements, stamping of the feet (zapateado), and clapping of the hands (palmada); its execution is brilliant, noisy, and passionate. Flamenco music is believed to have originated in the early 19th cent. from the canto hondo of Andalusia, a highly emotional and tragic type of song accompanied by a guitar. By the mid-19th cent. flamenco had become a generally popular entertainment form, and it subsequently flourished, both in its pure form and with the addition of elements from ballet, folk music, jazz, and other forms.