Friday, August 26, 2011


Flamenco is kind of everywhere in Spain, whether you're looking for it or not. On our first full day out in Madrid, we saw an add for a 15 euro rendition of Carmen and we jumped on it, not knowing if we'd get to see any flamenco on our trip. The production was just OK.. for 15 euro, you can't have very high expectations and the parts of the show when the flamenco musicians played, it was excellent... just the opera part was a bit of a flop. 

But, then while in Granada, we accidentally stumbled upon a flamenco show. Or rather, where a show would be held a few hours later. Because it was just practice, they let folks into the seating area to watch the rehersal. Surprsingly, the flamenco dancer was a Japanese woman. It looked like the show might be some kind of fusion performance, because at one point she pulled out a samaurai sword, but she didn't do much with this during the rehersal. Once it was time to get ready for the show, we were all kicked out. But, we couldn't complain because we got about 30 minutes of free entertainment. 

And according to Wikipedia, there are more flamenco schools in Japan than there are in Spain. Random Wikipedia fact of the day. 

But, the best, and most authentic of all was when our couchsurfing host brought us to this little hole in the wall on some backstreet of Sevilla. You can't see it in this photo, but the place was packed, and is packed every night for the flamenco show. Some tourists find out about this place, but it seemed that there were a lot of locals as well. As we walked in, there were some musicians in a back corner hanging out and playing music together. Then the real show came on. One guitarist, one singer and one dancer, the three essential elements of flamenco. 

I tried my best here to capture not only the dancing, but the music as well. Unfortunately, the dancing got more and more passionate as the night wore on, but unfortunately my camera battery was not up to the task. What you see here is a rather tamed down version of the actual show. I wish I could have caught that moment when the duende took over and things got crazy.

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