Although this was very much part of our Madrid trip, I deliberately kept it out of my last post because I just had to dedicate a post to this topic alone. It was a truly mind blowing experience and there are just too many pictures to share to do this magnificent dance any justice!
I saw my first flamenco show last year however it didn’t come close to what I experienced this time around. If you’re ever in Madrid and you’ve never seen a show don’t go to Las Tablas. I enjoyed it last year but it didn’t affect me. This year, our hotel Concierge recommended a venue called Torres Bermejas which apparently gives birth to some of the country’s top spanish guitar players and flamenco dancers. If you are in Madrid, please go! You have the option of booking dinner + the show or drinks + the show. They begin at around 9.30pm and basically perform until the place clears. I always say presentation is everything and its true. You see with your eyes before anything else. The room’s walls were tiled in Arabesque style colors and Arabic calligraphy setting the stage for the Southern-Spanish assault to the senses coming our way. Despite the stage being quite small, they put on a loud, triumphant and memorable performance.
The stage was first set with just a few chairs on which the spanish guitar players, singers and four flamenco dancers were seated. The sound of the spanish guitar is so beautiful and the singing cannot be described as anything but haunting. It is melancholy and soulful and piercing. Each of the four flamenco dancers, decked out in colorful costumes and elaborate chignons, first performed solo, the four women then performed together, and we were then utterly entranced by a male flamenco dancer who brought the house down! I have never seen anyone move like that. He was dancing for his life. By the time he was finished, you could see a lot of emotion etched into the lines of his face: rage, passion, anger, exhaustion and somewhere, I’m sure the feeling of release that permeated through his humble smile and his sweat drenched face. He was a real “Julio”! We then saw two solo performances by women, the first a calmer rendition to bring us down from the climatic dance of the guy before and the final dance, I’m sure had something to do with death as the dancer was dressed in black and purple and the sad music was mirrored in her seemingly tortured face and in the angry and sad lamenting movements of her hands and stomping of her feet. It was utterly mesmerizing.
Flamenco dancers dance as though no one is watching. They move with fervor as if fighting for every last bit of life. Pain and passion is etched onto their beautiful faces as their mouths move and contort to the mythical lament of the music. I was captivated watching them. The foot work is like an illusion and the movements graceful and forceful all at once with arms making elegant twirls, feet stamping and hands beating down on themselves. In the background, the singers clap fervently and shout praise to the dancers, their faces also reflecting pain and the untold stories emanating from their enchanting songs.
I hope u enjoy the photos. With all the moving and the heads at the table in front of us, it was difficult to get good shots. It seems to be an amazing workout and I’ve really been wanting to find a hobby I can see through and become an expert at so I’m now considering taking this up once I move to Paris. Crazy u say? Perhaps… Everyone needs a little crazy in his life! ;)