Flamenco in Seville is all over the city. Actually, it’s typical of Andalucía, a region located in the South of Spain.
So along with the nearby cities of Jerez and Cádiz, Seville is a perfect place to see flamenco.
But what is flamenco exactly?
Well, it’s more than a kind of typical dancing. flamenco is also known for other expression forms: singing and music (basically guitar playing, but also clapping hands).
Flamenco is passion, heart, art… and even a state of mind. It’s a powerful art that usually conveys deep emotions such as pain and sadness.
Actually, the main purpose of the artist is to connect with the audience creating such a bond that he or she will helplessly accept. If not, the artist fails.
It’s an art that you can only love or hate.
Where can you see flamenco in Seville?
Seville is an artistically diverse city and there are always lots of spectacles and shows going on.
As result, the offer of flamenco is endless and you can choose among many options where flamenco dancing and singing are beautifully performed:
- You can experience the passion of flamenco in large tablaos.
- Or you can go for a smaller, more intimate and traditional venue.
- Alternatively, you can look for a flamenco bar.
You’re in Seville… Explore the city and find out what the flamenco fuss is all about!
What is the best flamenco show in Seville?
What is the best flamenco show in Seville? The city has some amazing venues where you can witness a remarkable flamenco performance.
The shows are held throughout the city in numerous tablaos, theaters, bars, and even museums…
So after fielding the question a million times “I’m here for two days – where can I see some decent flamenco?“, here’s my personal recommendation to where you can see flamenco without paying through the nose for a ‘just for tourist’ performance.
How to enjoy flamenco dancing in Seville
You’ll often read here and there on the internet that any flamenco dance exhibition that includes a meal is a tourist trap.
That’s just not true.
Most tablaos flamencos located on main streets and tourist areas don’t really reflecting the genuine atmosphere of a locals’ performance. These are big venues, offering spectacular, highly choreographed routines of music and dance. And yes, some of them offer drinks and food.
But that doesn’t mean they’re a rip-off. Shows here lack the spontaneity and grit that you can experience at a flamenco bar. The downside is that flamenco bars are hard to find and they rarely offer a regular schedule of shows.
Seville has an abundance of venues, so finding the right show can be a tricky business for the uninitiated. For a real good flamenco show, trust my local insider advice!
Take flamenco classes in Seville
Unsurprisingly flamenco classes have become very popular in Seville. They are a perfect way to connect with the dancing culture of a city famous for being the origin of flamenco.
You’ll learn and improve your flamenco technique with a specialist in this traditional dance from the South of Spain.
This flamenco class experience is for beginners. And even for absolute beginners!
Fall in love with the arm and hand movements and put your own into practice whether you are male or female. Enjoy trying a variety of movements to find the ones you like best.
You’ll start from zero thanks to a brief introduction of flamenco’s origins, concepts and culture.
There is something in this dance that captivates: passion, soul, emotion, tension, energy. Can you feel it? How can you express it?
Flamenco history and origins
In 2010, UNESCO World Heritage declared flamenco on the list as of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. But do you know where this art comes from?
While people associate flamenco dance with Spain in general, it’s an art from Andalucía, a region located in the south of Spain.
All the theories say that the origin comes from the cultural union of different cultures throughout centuries, including Arabic, Sephardic (Jews), Christian and Gypsy cultures.
Later on, in the 18th century, Gypsies began performing at juergas, private parties for the rich. The majority of this growth took place within the Flamenco Triangle (Cádiz, Ronda and Seville).
Then, the flamenco Golden Age occurred between about 1850-1910, when flamenco shows became greatly popularized. But did you know that flamenco began to disappear entirely in the 1930s and 1940s?
Well, let’s discuss the history of flamenco dance from its origins to its present…
How many different flamenco styles are there?
Learning the basics of flamenco is a riveting adventure, full of historical intrigue and technical challenges.
Perhaps the best introductory approach is to become familiar with the most common flamenco styles, known as palos.
But what does palo mean?
The word palo in Spanish has several definitions, but in this context a “branch” or “suit of cards” is the best translation as it refers to a categorization or classification system.
You can consider a flamenco palo as a musical form (compositional structure), a way of singing, and a dancing style.
Flamenco is built on 3 art forms
The original form of flamenco was only a voice accompanied by the rhythm of a wooden cane beating against the floor.
Today, flamenco incorporates 3 different elements:
- Cante or singing. The center of the flamenco group is the vocals performed by the cantaor or cantaora.
- Baile or dancing. The bailaor or bailaora through his or her movements interprets the emotions of the singer.
- Toque or playing the guitar. The guitarist accompanies and supports the singer(s) and dancer(s) with melodic, rhythmic percussion.
Flamenco in Seville: glossary of terms
You may not know it but flamenco is not just a part of the Spanish culture, but the language as well. Some terms of this unique art have crept into everyday expressions with very expressive meanings.
Although this glossary is by no means exhaustive, it’s a relatively comprehensive list of the more common flamenco terms. Some words listed are often used at informal flamenco parties and are intended to “spur along” the singers, dancers and guitarists who are performing.
So this glossary will help you to understand flamenco dancing and know a bit more about this art before attending a show.