Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Last Wednesday night I had the chance to go see a flamenco performance while in Sevilla. It's almost a requirement that you see a flamenco show while in southern Spain as it is a style of dance that is native to the area (Andalucia province) and famous the world over.

I have to be honest that I really didn't know much about it other than what I've seen on TV or in the movies so I had no clue as to what to expect when I arrived at the venue. Being me, I got there too early when the place was pretty much empty. I scored a good seat about three rows from the stage on the center aisle. Waiting with my "complementary" glass of wine, I got to watch the place fill up with older female tourists mostly from the U.S. My radar fired up but I stayed calm.

(Note: your eyes are not the problem...the photos are a little blurry...sorry.)

When the show started, I quickly realized what I had gotten myself into... OMG!!! It was DINNER THEATER!!! IN SPANISH!!!

Growing up I had a great friend that danced for a living. He cut his teeth as one of the Rita Rue dancers on Frankford Avenue (interestingly enough--next door to the Holmesburg Bakery) near where we grew up but quickly moved on to the world of Broadway, occasional dinner theater, and, best of all in my mind, on cruise ships traveling the world and getting paid for it. Anyway, in other words, I had some experience with this type of environment so I knew it as soon as I saw it. One note, saying this was dinner theater in no way reduces the professionalism and ability of the performers. The performers I saw were really good. I guess I had expected something different but, not having a Spanish tia that lives in the area, I should have known what to expect.

According to my trusty sources, flamenco music is the result of a combination of Islamic and gypsy (among others) influences while the dancing itself seems to be gypsy-based with a heavy influence from Latin America. It's definitely the type of thing I crave. I love, love, love the intersection of cultures.

I liked the show. The music was great and some of the dancers were top-notch. Here's one of the top-notch folks:

Overall, the show was a good introduction into a small piece of Spanish culture. I'd recommend you go if you get the chance. Just don't expect to find yourself in that dark, romantic place that you've seen in the movies...

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