Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Best Flamenco Deal in Town

Casa de la Memoria de Al-Andalus has got to be the best deal in town for flamenco dancing.  Just think about it:  you're in Andalusia, Spain, so a flamenco show is a must-see.  You prefer a smaller, authentic venue rather than a big, commercialized stage performance.  You don't want to have to pay for an expensive dinner for your whole family or even for a minimum drink order.  And if you have young children, you're not sure they can sit through the standard two hour flamenco show.

Welcome to the beautiful, affordable entertainment at Casa de la Memoria in Seville.  The traditional flamenco performance we attended in July was a sensational, captivating experience for our whole family.  The shows are entirely acoustic and take place in a small, enchanting gypsy den in the Barrio de Santa Cruz every night at 9:00 p.m. for one hour.  It is an intimate setting with folding chairs circling a small wooden stage.  No alcohol, drinks, or food is served.  Tickets are 15€ for adults and 13€ for students.  In my research I found no other flamenco show at this price nor less than two hours in duration.

Since seating is limited to 90 spectators per show and often sells out, we visited the sales window a few days ahead of time and purchased our tickets.  The staff in the small office speaks English and conveniently accepts credit card payments.  A calendar of nightly acts featuring various flamenco styles is posted in case you have a preference.

Our Monday night show began with the flamenco singer alone on stage, whose deep, sad songs set the tone for the folkloric tradition of the dance.  His rhythmic hand clapping, called palmas, set the tempo and accentuated the entire evening's performance.  He was then joined by a talented young acoustic guitarist.

Manuela Ríos, flamenco dancer in Seville,
smiles at the end of her performance.
When Manuela Ríos, our show's fabulous flamenco dancer, entered the room we were taken aback by her profound seriousness and her intensely emotional facial expressions as she danced.  (I was actually afraid at first that my 13 year old son might burst out laughing, as kids sometimes do out of embarrassment during extremely solemn occasions, but he didn't.)  The deep, dark mood of traditional flamenco comes from its roots as an artistic expression of the sorrow and despair of the conquered peoples of Andalusia during the Moorish occupation.

The mood lightened dramatically when Manuela's partner, Juan Diego Fernández, joined her on the platform.  Juan Diego's percussive footwork is mesmerizing and the two of them together are magical.  I highly recommend Casa de la Memoria's flamenco show for family entertainment.  My son, daughter, husband, and I truly enjoyed the evening and continued tapping our feet and clapping our hands well into the night back at our apartment.

{The audience was asked not to take photographs until the last 5 minutes of the performance, so most of my shots are of two very sweaty dancers.}


  1. Great photos- he sure was kicking up a sweat wasn't he! Thanks for sharing this- now I feel like dancing!

  2. what a fab experience for your kids, to see the passion that comes from flamenco. Great to find one that was authentic enough but 'kid friendly'.

  3. the sweat on his back is crazy! what great photos!


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