Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sevilla in 26 hours - 3 Flamenco

Sevilla is Flamenco. Flamenco is Sevilla.
It is all over and not only for turists. As I understood and saw, Flamenco is not a hobby.
Flamenco is lifestyle.

I read a bit about Flamenco's history and found out that its really old tradition, dates back to 16th century! Nowadays I think its considered as Spanish Folk Art but its more..
Flamenco is much more.

Usually Flamenco is guitar, singing and dancing and clapping hands, sometimes violin or flut or little drums that looks like african drums. These musicians are really really good!
But its the singing what is important. The lyrics, The Cante, there is always a story to tell. ( and Im bummed I dont understand more Spanish ..)

There is no one way to sing flamenco, there are hundreds of different types and variations, these styles are called Palos. Originally they say Flamenco represents different cultures; Arabic, Gypsies, Jews.. and ofcourse, all the ingenious Andalucians who have been passing this tradition on for hundreds of years.. Flamenco has never been for the rich and famous, it has always been the way of life for the poor and oppressed people, the ones who have been put down and have nothing. It still has this a bit sad mode and  I hear some melancholy as well.

You do hear some Flamenco allover Spain, but its most typical here in Andalucia,
Flamenco is Andalucia! it belongs here!

and to Sevilla! first Flamenco bars and cafes were in Sevilla.
Cafe Cantante, only singing no dancing.
First one was opened looong time ago, in 1842..

These first cafes had 2 types of singers, Gypsies ( cante gitano ) and Andaluz singers ( cante andaluz)
by 1860's these singing cafes were really popular and more and more people learned to play the Guitar since bars were employing guitarists. Many great years I read.. lots of bars and action. But somehow, I dont know why, flamenco lost its fans and in beginning of the 19th century there was not many bars left.
Traditional cafe had changed to a more of a show with " Flamenco Opera's" and "Flamenco Ballet"
to me this sounds a bit like "aristocrats" stole the culture? hmm..dont know better.. just guessing.

This is Paco de Lucia , very famous flamenco guitarist, huge star here in Spain. These guitar players are very talented and boys start practising at very early age to play.. Some bars there is no age-limit, so kids grow with Flamenco as they follow their parents flamenco road.

anyhow, something good has come out of World War II since during those years people found Flamenco again here! wohoo! lets be thankful for that..Nowadays Flamenco is really much alive and great singers and guitarists are huge stars here in Spain. .. and Flamenco is back on its origin, it is culture, art and entertainment for everyone. In some bars staff sings, customers sings, anyone can sing - if they feel like it!

In Sevilla there is still several singing bars and cafes, people gathers together to spend an evening and who feels like singing, sings. Someone might get excited by a song and then continues where the first one left.You never know how sits where and whats gonna happen each night. Also I saw that many guys had their guitars with them in the evening, was great to walk around the old town and listen to these songs coming from many direction. So, Flamenco is more than a hobby.
Flamenco is lifestyle.

Flamenco dance for me seems very powerful and strong. I love to watch it. I have been thinking for years to go to Flamenco classes but havent got myself there yet.. maybe this would be the time now....
the dance is called  El Baile Flamenco. Also the dance has many different styles and variations.
Flamenco Puro is considered to be the closest to gypsy origins, and there is always just one dancer and its more of improvisation than before practised choreography. Really cool to watch since you can feel the power of the dance and the emotions on the dancer when she gets really into the music and singing.

The Flamenco that is in many places shown for turists is bit of a show nowadays, dancers practise certain things and its always the same. Looks cool though and has intensity as well. But I myself prefer the impro!

If you want to know more of the Flamenco dancing - El Baile Flamenco -

Then there is ofcourse the dresses. The outfits. They are just beautiful! the best ones are hand made and can cost thousands depending on the material and the maker. All women have those dresses here. They have many! It is a tradition to wear the Flamenco dress on Feria time, which is a few days fair. Feria season starts here in Marbella ( actually right now going on ) and then finishes in October.
I ve heard about some women that goes around the Ferias here ( Sevilla is said to be the best again ) and they have each night different dress. Also, Some mothers and daughters have the same dress. Looks cute!

In Sevilla you can see Flamenco in different places, there are great shows that costs 30-50e and then there are bars that are free of charge.  Tablao is a Flamenco Bar where people gathers to see a show and then anyone can dance afterwords, there is always an entrance fee to tablao. Many Flamenco Dancers have opened a Tablao here somewhere, for instance in Marbella old town there is one, Ana Maria Tablao. Flamenco Pena is a meeting place for people who dances and sings and can enjoy evening together. Then there are concert shows where you need to book your tickets in advance and shows are always at some specific time.

El Palacio Andaluz is very famous Flamenco Tablao in Sevilla  - see here  -

I chose this small bar, traditional Juerga,  I was recommended before, these juergas are really informal and "welcomes everyone" for free of charge... I had difficulties finding it! was in very small alley with no bars etc around it. I went past it couple times before even realizing " this is it" - and had to ask directions.. hahaa. But hey, I found it! and enjoyed every second!!!
Impro Style Dance and this lady was great!

This Flamenco Bar is called LA CARBONERA and is open as I understood everynight and shows are on everynight. I was lucky to find a You Tube recording from this bar some other night, but its the same lady dancing here as well who I saw!!! wow! .. welcome to La Carbonera.. I loved it!

                                  more info of Flamenco :

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