- Issue date: 07/11/2008
- Printing Process: Huecograbado
- Paper: Estucado, engomado, fosforescente
- Size of stamp: 28,8 x 49,8 mm. (verticales)
- Size of block sheet: 120 x 76 mm. (horizontal)
- Postal value of the stamps: 0,60 y 0,78 €
- Print run: 500.000 hojas bloque
- Dented: 13 3/4
The Spain-Ireland joint issue is devoted to Popular Dances, the Spanish stamp depicting a scene of Flamenco and the Irish one depicting a scene of Irish Dance.
Although the origins of Flamenco are uncertain, it is known that this dance, song and music reached its peak and development in Andalucía since the XVIII century. The acceptance and establishment amongst the common people was such, especially amongst the gypsy ethnic group that it spread throughout the country becoming one of the main references of Spanish culture throughout the world. It wasn’t though until 1869 to 1929 when it reached its golden age. Flamenco music has developed throughout the years and is always accompanied by a guitar using different strumming patterns and techniques to follow the singing and dancing in the traditional Flamenco forms. The cante (song) also plays a main role. The baile flamenco is a highly-expressive solo dance, known for its emotional sweeping of the arms, rhythmic stomping of the feet in addition to the percussion provided by the heels and balls of the feet striking the floor. The result is a powerful yet graceful execution, and a complex musical and cultural tradition. Flamenco was performed in patios, and evening festivals and later on began to be showed in tablaos, taverns and cabarets. Nowadays it has a privileged position in program listings of auditoriums and theatres. The roots of Irish Dance are also ancestral and uncertain. It is practised all over Ireland and generally characterized by a controlled but not rigid upper body, straight arms, and quick, precise movements of the feet. This dance was very popular before the arrival of cinema and television especially in rural areas where house dance and crossroad dance in which two couples danced face to face to the rhytm of street musicians, were performed. The Irish stamp has been designed by Dublin born artist Conor Walton whilst the Spanish stamp is the work of Estudio Jesús Sánchez.