I am a little crazy in believe that I can do almost anything, of course within a very blurred line of reason. But, after watching Flamenco in Barcelona it was completely evident that that would probably end up on the other side of the line. Their talented dancing feet moved far too swiftly for even my eyes to keep up with and I would only be able to duplicate the passion in their faces if I broke my big toe.
I really wasn’t expecting a mere dance show to be brimming with so many emotions and expressions as each dancer beautifully moves to a melodious folklore music. They clap their hands, kick their feet and snap their fingers in a rhythmic manner that will surely make you dance in your seat. Flamenco is definitely a unique art that is capable of transferring all kinds of emotions and sensations—from passion and love to resilience and strength.
What is Flamenco Dancing?
Almost every culture has their own traditional dance and music, and some of them manage to stand out in the world. Flamenco happens to be one of those art-form based musical traditions. Originated in Southern Spain, the dance performance involves a combination of cante (singing), toque (guitar playing), baile (dance), jaleo (vocalizations and chorus), palmas (clapping) and pitos (finger snapping). Phew, that’s a lot of stuff in just one show! While it is of Spanish origin, influences of Moorish culture, gypsies, Middle East, and Latin America can be seen as well.
Flamenco can be many things. It can be romantic, seductive and entertaining. But, above all, if you don’t feel the passion you better check your pulse. The performers wear vibrant colors and flouncy dresses that move flawlessly as they swing to music. I was surprised to learn that most of the traditional dancers, particularly older ones, are not professionally trained in Flamenco. The art has been passed down in a family for generations.
Even though Barcelona is swarming with tourists and the shows have somewhat lost its authentic essence over the years, you can still see the traditional spirit of Flamenco dancing in Barcelona. Here are my top picks on where:
Where to See the Absolute Best
Flamenco Shows in Barcelona
Tablao de Carmen
Paying homage to the great flamenco dancer, Carmen Amaya, Tablao de Carmen is one of the most renowned Flamenco theaters in Barcelona. It is the very same spot where the gypsy dancer made her striking debut before King Alfonso XII in 1929!
The theatre was founded in 1988 and strives to provide top-notch shows—it actually has regarded as a shrine among flamenco enthusiasts. Boasting a decorative style inspired by Andalusian architecture, Tablao de Carmen presents the true variety of flamenco highlighting all of its aspects and traditions. It features two hour-long performances every night, and its ticket packages include the show with drinks, appetizers, or dinner.
It’s a bonus that it’s close the Magic Mountain of Monjuic, so be sure to leave plenty of time to make a stop there!
Tablao Flamenco Cordobes
Tablao Flamenco Cordobes is another one of Barcelona’s most popular venues for flamenco shows. The theatre is managed by a family of artists who ensure that you have an unforgettable experience. From vocals and guitar chords to tapping of dancers’ feet and smiles, each and every move was extremely well-coordinated and mind-blowing.
Tablao Flamenco Cordobes was founded in 1970 and has managed to become the hotspot for the city’s flamenco scene. The ambience is cordial and warm with just the right dose of splendor. It is located in the famous (and very touristy) Las Ramblas boulevard where you will come across a cosmopolitan culture, a luxurious array of entertaining options, cafes, shopping centers and much more.
Palacio del Flamenco
Here you will find a fantastic fusion of flamenco and classical dance along with a great variety of food and lessons. If you have ever wanted to master the artful movements of flamenco dance, book a class at Palacio del Flamenc0, and live your bucket list dreams. Classes are available in groups as well as on individual basis. All you need to do in book 12 hours in advance!
The show itself is quite spectacular and captivating. Before it begins, guests are briefed about the history of flamenco through a short video. Food involves 8 courses and plenty of tapas, but in my opinion, most people do not come to flamenco for the food.
The Palau de la Música
At the Palau de la Música, not only you can enjoy flamenco shows, you can also explore the architectural jewel of Barcelona. The concert hall was built back in 1905 and boasts a beautiful Catalan modernista style. It has been declared World Patrimony by the UNESCO. Come and tour the hall and witness a passionate flamenco dance.
The Palau de Musica holds two shows; Opera y Flamenco and Gran Gala Flamenco. Each performance is intense and touching with outstanding vocals and music. It is a must-watch whether or not you are a fan of flamenco.
With the flamenco shows in Barcelona you will be immersed in culture, art, entertainment and so much more. You will feel the intensity deep in the pit of your guy and appreciated the years of dedicated practice that this dance requires.
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