Flamenco in Barcelona Spain
Flamenco - with its passionate cantes, gypsy guitars and flamboyant dresses and castanets - is the first thing that springs to mind when one thinks of Spanish culture (apart from maybe a spot of bullfighting!). And although this lusty, life-affirming art form originated in Southern Spain, in Andalusia, Barcelona has its own close association with flamenco: after all it was here that the star-crossed lovers Juana La Zoronga and Rafael El Taranto fell in love in the famous Somorrostro shanty town of Barcelona and flamenco'ed their way through the city in the hit 1963 musical Los Tarantos. (The Somorrostro was destroyed in the 1980s to make way for the Olympic Games - although interesting it was the real birth place of Carmen Amaya, a flamenco dancer and singer of Romani origin who starred in Los Tarantos).
Flamenco has its origins in the folk music of Spain and was influenced by Spanish, gypsy and Moorish instruments and styles. The art form matured in the 19th Century when it enjoyed its so-called golden era and was performed in cafés cantantes around Spain. Flamenco consists of all three of song, music and dance, with the traditional view stating that flamenco began as a style of singing (cante), and later these songs were accompanied by guitar (toque), hand-clapping (palmas), foot-stomping (zapateado) and finally dance (baile). Some modern flamenco shows in Barcelona and Spain even contain an aspect of theatre, so that they become almost operatic or balletic performances.
The attraction of flamenco lies in its intense emotion, evoked in the songs and first-time flamenco-goers will be surprised how soul-stirring (not to mention noisy!) the simple use of hand-clapping, foot-stomping and acoustic guitar can be, especially when these accompaniments build up to a blistering crescendo. Whilst the musical aspects of flamenco - sometimes tragic and dirge-like, other times light and humorous - arrest the ears, the flamenco dances beguile the eyes: female artists perform sinuous arm movements and coquettish swirls of their shawls and dresses to stir the passions, whilst the men stomp and scowl, at one time spinning like a ballerina, at others striking imperious like a macho bullfighter commanding an entire arena!
Live Flamenco Shows in Barcelona
There are a host of sensational tablaos in Barcelona offering some of the best live flamenco shows in Spain, and if you're set on witnessing the passion of a performance you're in the right city! And whereas the traditional gypsy flamenco concert was a small and ad hoc affair, often with no telling when it would begin or end (if the artists even remembered to turn up at all!) things are a bit more professional these days. Most of the flamenco venues in Barcelona offer two or three shows a night, with the option to enjoy an in-house meal before the live performance. In essence these tablaos cater mainly for tourists, but this is no bad thing as it enables people to experience flamenco and the concerts are often of the very highest order anywhere in Spain! Generally you can buy tickets in advance, and if you're dead set on seeing a show this might be advised as the most popular flamenco shows will be sold out during summer.
A reliable ticket operator directly affiliated with Barcelona Life, Flamenco Barcelona can reserve you the best seats in the house at the top tablaos and won't chance you a single euro on top of the original ticket price. In fact you may even get a discount! Email with the required dates and number of people attending.
Flamenco & Tapas Night
If you want to experience the magic of Spain's most famous art form, but without paying tourist prices for the privilege, then this popular choice might be for you. Start the night by testing the country's most famous tapas dishes - and there's a lot of them - and then complete your Spanish-themed night with a trip to an authentic-style bar for a performance that will leave you in no doubt about the meaning of the mysterious 'el duende' (soul, or spirit!) that permeates real flamenco! Click the link above for more info, or Email. Price 24 euros.
Hola! Barcelona Tours
Fancy combining a show with a traditional Spanish three-course meal? Hola! Barcelona Tours will get you tickets for a performance at a top tablao with either a splendid supper (for 48-80 euros, depending on which menu you choose) or simply a show with a glass of sangria (for 35 euros). Check their website for full details.
I enjoyed the show on Las Ramblas. It is great to know this special part of Spanish culture is still alive and well
reviewed by Fleur from France on Apr.08.2011
What a beautiful performance we saw in Poble Espanyol. A wonderful night we won't forget
reviewed by Jude from United Kingdom on Aug.30.2010