Hooked on flamenco
Pure sentiment and profound passion. This is flamenco, a genuine Spanish musical art that is universally renowned. Anyone who hears flamenco cannot help but admire it. In Spain there are many ways to feel its energy and contagious rhythm; to discover its characters and the grandeur of this musical genre, that will hook you forever.
Flamenco music has enchanted people from all over the world, and has been a source of inspiration for international musicians and stars. It is a unique spectacle, captivating for all. Flamenco brings together the sound of deep song, accompanying guitar, a powerful kind of tap dance, complex, clapped rhythms and the spectacular dance of major artists, many anonymous. You will notice how you are unconsciously infected by the emotion and feeling that this musical genre transmits. It is not a homogenous form of music. Rather, it consists of a number of variants (called "palos") such as tarantos, bulerías, alegrías and soleares. These are diverse styles that, together, form a Spanish sign of identity, a musical genre capable of expressing the passion of an entire people.
The fascinating world of flamenco clubs
Be sure to come to a "tablao" (flamenco club) and enjoy a night of flamenco music. These clubs are dedicated to flamenco singing and dance, and are usually decorated with traditional items, Manila shawls, bullfighting capes, photographs of famous people who have visited... All coming together to create a very special, cosy atmosphere during the performances. At these clubs you can also have a drink or sample Spanish gastronomy with some tapas or a full dinner. There are many clubs of this type in Spain. They are especially prevalent in Andalusia although there are others, such as those in Madrid, for example, which are also very well known. We would recommend you contact the Tourist Offices to get prior information. These clubs tend to be quite small with limited capacity, so you should book a table in advance.
Andalusia is the spiritual home of flamenco, with Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz and Triana (a neighbourhood of Seville) being the emblematic places that saw the birth of the genre. This Region is home to the Flamenco Routes: themed itineraries that will take you to Andalusia's most traditional flamenco destinations, along with the places where major legends of the genre, such as Camarón de la Isla and Paco de Lucía, grew up and gained their inspiration. These routes also give you the chance to attend theoretical and practical sessions given by different artists as part of the teaching programmes organised periodically. You can attend free of charge, with prior enrolment by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by telephone (+34 951299357). Furthermore, at the Flamenco Routes website you will find a directory with information on dance schools and academies, "tablaos", shows and flamenco associations.
Throughout the year, there are many opportunities to enjoy this musical genre in Spain with the various fiestas and festivals held. They are a unique occasion to see great masters in action. There are some which are real classics: the Flamenco Biennial, the Las Minas Festival of Flamenco Song, Noches de Embrujo (Enchanting Nights), the Cordoba Guitar Festival… If you would like to know more about the art and history of flamenco, then come and visit one of the specialist museums such as the Andalusian Centre for Flamenco or the Flamenco Dance Museum in Seville.
You will be unable to avoid the joy, the sentiment and the magic of flamenco. And where better than Spain to enjoy it?