What dance form incorporates clapping, stomping, castanets, singing, and guitars? That’s right, flamenco. And where’s a better place to see a live flamenco performance than in Madrid!

For our six days in Spain, Tim (a good friend of my husband and I) joined us. When we were contemplating what to do, I of course said we have to go to a flamenco show. Dan wanted to see the Goya’s Black paintings, and Tim wanted to go to a soccer game. I think the boys were a little leery about going to see a dance performance, but I promised they would love it, as we secured tickets.

There’s just something about flamenco music and dance that pulls you close and makes you really listen. When you see it live, the pull is even stronger. By the end of a show, you feel like you could dance flamenco right out the door. I can assure you that is indeed what happened following the show we saw at Las Tablas Nuevo Espacio Escénico.

As the room darkened, four men very casually took the stage. They chatted with each other, adjusted their microphones, and the two with guitars tuned them while the audience quieted in anticipation. Then the guitars began to play an intricate classical Spanish tune, while the men sang with power beckoning for the performers to take the dance space. With a quick glide, three dancers, two women and a man, entered from stage left. Their fiery energy, quick turns, and elegant arms engulfed the stage. Now the performance had really begun. The one in a half hour show was packed with samplings of many styles of flamenco. In addition to duets and trios, each performer was showcased in a solo that truly showed off their talents. One of my favorite aspects of the performance was if you were still, you could feel the dance through the floor vibrations. What an amazing feeling! By the end of the night, the room was hot and the audience was charged.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cnn0kTewVKU

Before we left I was able to talk to the male performer. I learned that he began his flamenco training at 5 years old. He also mentioned that he studied ballet, as it helped with posture. I was fascinated by his duel dance education. For as long as I can remember, and I’ve even said it to my students too, ballet is a must for strength and technical efficiency. I guess ballet also extends to the flamenco world in the same way. Interesting stuff…

As Tim, Dan, and I left the theatre, we took with us the energy of the performance. Instead of taking the metro, we decided to walk. We also took turns trying to tap our feet as fast as possible and discussed Michael Flattly’s world record for quickest foot beats per minute. Personally, I think a professional flamenco dancer might be able to break that record, especially from what I saw at the evening’s performance.

In the end, I was happy that I could expose my husband and Tim to flamenco dance. I think they really enjoyed it. So now, I challenge all of you dancers to out there to introduce someone to dance. Give them one of your comp tickets, take them to a show, or even rent “Black Swan!” Share dance out there, and spread your love of dance!!!

Sharing what I love,

The Offbeat Ballerina