Keep in mind flamenco is a genre, with many
variations and types, some subtle and some very different.
"New flamenco", "flamenco-fusion", and
"flamenco-rock" are just a few of the contemporary
sub-genres, and show how world and pop music have blended
their way into a traditional genre. The variations of the
traditional styles are the result of regional influences,
and at times folk dance. The more contemporary sub-genres
aside, there exist many types of traditional flamenco:
Caña y Polo
It could take a while to describe all of these, and while
I enjoy flamenco I would do you and everyone else a great
disservice should I try to explain all of these in technical
terms. So I send you to this section on esflamenco.com,
where you can read more. Pay special attention to the list
like mine above, but with links to explanations of each
which covers the specifics of dancing, music, and timing. Probably the best place to learn about the origins and evolution of flamenco is the Flamenco Dance Museum (Museo del Baile Flamenco) in Seville, which is just a few years old. The museum is wonderful, and they use plenty of new technology (in a good way) in several interactive exhibits.
Deciding on which show is best for you can include many factors, including location, services, length of the performance, type of venue...well, there are several things to consider. You may want a queiter place where you can concentrate on the performance, or the thought of not enjoying a cold beer or glass of sherry during a show may frighten you away. When you arrive it is also hard to get information on all of the possible shows. My coworker Thorsten and I began thinking about what it was like to visit and consider these options. We decided to visit as many venues in Seville as we could, take some photos, and list everything that makes each place unique. The result is a new site, flamencotickets.com, where you can read about the shows, see photos, videos and purchase your tickets in advance! If you need help deciding on which show is best for you just send us an email from the site and we will offer our personal advice.
Tablaos are where you'll see the
professional quality and choreographed shows, although most
would say it's just as good in the Cass de la Memoria or
Casa Carmen Arte Flamenco (see below). Artists can range
from the nationally to internationally known, and the dress
and costumes are superb. Many shows offer dinner or just
a drink, and the prices will be the most expensive for enjoying
flamenco. While some people and guide books comment on these
as tourist traps there is plenty to enjoy - for a price
- and some of the best quality shows take place in tablaos. As I recommend for most of them, skip the dinner and
take the drink only option. What is the difference between
these establishments (tablaos) and the ones I list
below? The show is longer, more choreographed and there
are many more performers. Some tablaos also attract
crowds of tourists, piling off their hired buses in search
c/ Rodo, 7 (Arenal). :
954 216 492 : tablaoelarenal.com
A tablao that's been around for
years, situated in a renovated 17th century building. Choose
from a show with dinner or just a drink (cheaper) in a cozy
atmosphere where you can get a close view of a show. I saw
my first show in El Arenal some 15 years ago, opening my eyes and mind
El Patio Sevillano
: Paseo Colon (Arenal). :
954 222 068 : elpatiosevillano.com
Founded in 1952 and moved to its current location in 1973,
this is one of the first tablaos in Sevilla. Flamenco shows take
place in a typical Andalusian patio and the building is
located right next to the Plaza de Toros and the river.
Another place with choice of a show with dinner or just a drink (cheaper
El Palacio Andaluz
: c/ Maria Auxiliadora, 18 (Centro). :
954 534 720
Lights, luxury and a big venue. Located on a large avenue
catch a glimpse from an outside to see one of the most upscale
tablaos in Sevilla. Another place to choose dinner with
the show or just a drink.
: Plaza de Santa Cruz 11. (Santa
954 216 981 : tablaolosgallos.com
Founded in 1966, Los Gallos is in the heart of Santa Cruz
and a few blocks away from the Jardines Murillo, with 2
shows every night. No dinner option.
In the two establishments listed below you'll also find
excellent, professional artists, often times the same who
perform in the more expensive tablaos. Prices will
be less and student discounts at times are available.
One of my favorites is Auditorio Alvarez Quintero which has nightly shows in an historic home renovated to include a stage plus a small art gallery. The family and people behind the scenes have many, many years of experience with the local flamenco scene and have vast knowledge of flamenco in Seville. Casa de la Memoria, where you can
see an affordable show is another small venue. In reports
from others and in my opinion, the quality of the shows at Auditorio Alvarez Quintero and Casa de la Memoria
are on par with the tablaos above. Note
that many of the artists and dancers may move back and forth
from these smaller venues to the larger tablaos. What is the difference between
a smaller venues and the tablaos? There are
fewer performers, the shows are often more improvised and last about an hour. Still, many would consider these smaller places to be a better show.
The audience tends to be more intimate - couples and small groups of friends
and visitors - and less the tourist bus scene. These places are a better
show in my opinion.
Casa de la Memoria
: c/Ximénez de Enciso, 28 (Santa Cruz) :
954 560 670. : casadelamemoria.com
Flamenco from 15 €, with two shows every night.
Students at local schools who are very talented perform
in the 18th century patio, making it a unique venue for
flamenco. The location is also a museum for the sefardi culture, one of the few centers featuring the history of the
Jewish inhabitants of the city.
Auditorio Alvarez Quintero
: c/ Alvarez Quintero 48, (Santa Cruz). :
954 293 949 : alvarezquintero.com
Quality flamenco shows, with prices starting at 17 €.
The venue is smaller, located in the patio of a 18th century buiklding wihc is also an art gallery. The family who owns the venue has been involved in the Seville flamenco scene for many years, and works hard to find quality local talent for the shows. The small space means you will not be far from the stage!
The Jueves Flamenco series sponsored by Fundación El Monte (now Cajasol),
is one of the best ways to see some of the best current flamenco artists. Concerts vary, from traditional
dance or guitar to the more innovative, such as jazz and flamenco fusion. But the shows are always excellent,
and occur just about every Thursday night during the spring except for a few holidays. The program ends in
late May, so you will have to wait until the following year at the moment! Tickets can be purchased ahead of
time through the Cajasol Online ticket sales (
there is an English version of the page). When the new schedule is available it will be posted here.
From the improvised and exciting to only singing or guitar
you can find some great shows with a little neighborhood
atmosphere in these places. Some have regular flamenco nights
where you can catch a local act. While most - but not all
- will lack the professional talent there's plenty of passion
in their performances and you may find you enjoy these performances more than the above shows!
Antigua de Sevilla
: c/Castellar, 50 (Arenal). :
Gifted amateurs with tickets starting around 3€. This
is one of many peñas in Seville, and I will
soon launch a larger list. They also have live jazz and
other music, as well as workshops everyone can participate
: c/Betis, 31 (Triana).
A fixture on calle Betis for years it's a great place for
a little flamenco with a group playing just about every
night. A nice break from the discotecas and other
bars with bad pop music on calle Betis.
: Triana - c/Duarte, 3 (Triana).
A great place for an improvised show just down the street
from Lo Nuestro. Drinks are all you pay, after that sit
back and enjoy the flamenco - normally signing and guitar.
: Triana - c/Pagés del Corro, 49 (Triana).
One of the best known bars of the Triana flamenco scene
where Sevillanas is common.
: Triana - Paseo de la O - riverwalk (Triana).
Take in a little flamenco right on the shore of the river.
Improvised and spontaneous, it's a great place to for flamenco
in Triana. This section of the riverwalk is in much better
shape than it was 10 years ago!
: Triana- c/Salado (Triana).
Close to the Plaza de Cuba and plenty
of places to ear. Live flamenco weekly.
: Arenal - c/Adriano (Arenal).
In the heart of the Arenal nightlife, and close to the Plaza
: Santa Cruz - c/Levies 18 (Santa Cruz).
Famous from it's mention in almost every guide book about
Sevilla, it's still worth a trip. Free music, often Flamenco,
can be found in the back covered terraza, popular
in the summer and winter. The front bar with a more rustic,
winter pub atmosphere includes a piano, stone walls and
floors, fireplaces and wooden tables and chairs. A mix of
people, from pijo to earthy, spanish to every nationality
under the sun, with plenty of Americans if here for only
a day or two. Aside from it's reputation as a tourist bar,
when there's a live act and I've got a friend in town they
always come away liking the place.
Lola de los Reyes
: Avda Blas Infante (Los Remedios).
More upscale clientele in Los Remedios.
: Avda. Blas Infante (Los Remedios).
Don't be afraid to get up and dance
en El Rejoneo, as many join in as the night moves
: Plaza de Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz). :
A bar where you can watch and listen
to a little flamenco, or join in with locals dancing Sevillanas.
: c/Bustos Tavera (Santa Catalina).
Flamenco Thursdays! Weekly performances
which are free. Sometimes the acts start a little later
than they say on the bill.
: c/Castilla (Triana).
Some of the best known performers make Seville a priority
on their tours. Below you will find some of the larger venues
where "something big" may be coming.
: (La Cartuja). :
Closer to the center of Sevilla than the Estadio Olimpico
and an indoor place for off weather nights. El Palenque
hosts international and national acts frequently.
A mix of the arts with mainly theatre and music performances.
Generally plenty of flamenco and other contemporary music
Sala Joaquín Turina. Centro Cultural El Monte
: (Centro). :
From September through May, this venue offers flamenco dance and music performances as a part of it's Jueves Flamenco program.
Lope de Vega
: (Arenal). :
Aside from opera, theatre and the symphony you'll find an
occasional flamenco performance by some of the best artists
in the world. Very convenient to the center.
There are regular events and festivals which you can plan
around if you want to see more than one act. A small sampling
for Seville and neighboring cities and towns. Also keep
in mind that there are certain foundations and concert series
which will bring weeks or months of concerts in Seville.
Location: Various Venues
Dates: September - October 2010
Every two years Sevilla plays host to one of the
premier flamenco festivals in the world, always featuring
some of the best acts. From the largest of venues to the
smaller peñas in the city you will have
plenty to see between the beginning of September and early
October. The activity draws people in from Spain and the
rest of the world. The next date is 2008.
Feria de Abril
Grounds (Los Remedios)
Guide to Feria
The Feria de Abril is a great time to see what many
consider the typical Andalucia dance of Sevillanas. While well known in Seville and Spain it may not be
what the typical tourist is expecting when looking for Flamenco. Sevillanas is perhaps a type of flamenco (some
would argue this) but with different timing and a different
style of dance from the foot-stomping you'll see in a tablao. The Feria takes place on the other side of the river
and breathes a little life into Los Remedios.
From Flamenco to jazz the Cordoba Guitar Festival
promises to be a great event just a train ride away in the
city of Córdoba. Keep in mind this is not a flamenco
only festival, but there are always good flamenco guitarists
to catch during the two or so weeks of the event. A sampling
from last year's list includes Paco de Lucia, Al Di Meola,
Bob Dylan, Stanley Jordan and more. For 2005 the dates are
1 - 16 July, and the acts are yet to be set. You can see
the information from 2004 on the official site.
While many people come to Seville to study the language,
there are thousands who arrive to for flamenco courses.
Or perhaps you want to combine the two. If this will be
your first time taking classes here is a short
report from sevilla5.com about the first day of class in
Taller Flamenco. Below is a list of some schools with
web sites. There are many more schools in Seville, so consider
this a list to start your search.
Peral 49 : (34) 954 564 234
Beginners to advanced: Dance & technique, guitar, compas
& palmas, workshops & group classes, sevillanas, plus classes for teachers.
Castellar 71, 2º Izq. : (34) 954 909 115
Beginners to advanced: group, intensive, technique, "duende",
compas & palmas, sevillanas.
Carmen de Torres
: c/ Lepanto 7. :
(34) 954 164 744
Various courses. Located in Castilleja de la Cuesta (5 minute drive from Triana)
Doña María Coronel, 10 . : (34) 954 221 333
de Baile de Manolo Marin
Rodrigo de Triana, 30. : (34) 954 340 519
Escuela de Danza Sevilla
Sor Ángela de la Cruz, 29. : (34) 954 560 144
Cristina Heeren Flamenco Foundation
: c/ Fabiola 1. : (34) 954 228 879 : flamencoheeren.com
Professional school with year and summer courses.
del Rosario, 7-F. : compas-sur.com
Located between the Alfalfa and Plaza Salvador, this is
perhaps Seville's best known music store will you find CDs
for just about any type of flamenco there is.