In english the word ‘escobilla’ translates to ‘brush’.
In the context of flamenco dance the escobilla refers to the section of a baile dedicated to footwork or as it is known in flamenco dance, zapateado.
The escobilla provides the opportunity for the dancer to demonstrate their virtuosity and command of rhythm through intricate patterns of footwork combined with upper body movement that can be quite spectacular.
The length of the escobilla can vary depending on the dancer and the style of flamenco that is being performed. There may also be shorter escobillas performed in between the verses sung by the flamenco singer in the first section of the dance.
There are many traditional steps for different palos that the dancer may choose to include however it is completely up to the individual as to how they would like to structure their choreography.
For each palo (flamenco style) their are also traditional falsetas and melodies of compás that are played on the guitar to accompany the zapateado (footwork) of the dancer.
We don't have any videos of complete escobillas to share with you however we do have some videos of different types of zapateado for the palos of soleá, bulerías and soleá por bulerías.
The escobilla refers to the section of a baile dedicated to footwork.
Zapateado por soleá
Zapateado por bulerías
Zapateado por soleá por bulerías
In modern choreographies the escobilla may be quite long and will be a test of strength and stamina of the dancer as well as a demonstration of their control of rhythm.
Have you learnt an escobilla? What did you find most difficult about it?
Let us know in the comments!