The zapateado is a dance of Mexican Indian origin characterized by a lively rhythm punctuated by the striking of the dancer's shoes, akin to tap dance. The name derives from the Spanish word zapato for "shoe": zapatear means to strike with a shoe.
The dance was introduced by the natives of Mexico and then taken back to Spain where the Spanish claimed it as their own.
Among the composers who write Spanish Zapateados is Paco de Lucía, whose Percusión Flamenca is a very popular piece for guitar and orchestra. Also Pablo de Sarasate, whose opus 23, no. 2 is a version of the dance scored for violin and piano. The piece is full of harmonics, double stops, left hand pizzicatos, and is often performed by young virtuosos.
- David Ewen, Encyclopedia of Concert Music.
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