Where the Flamenco is Performed
The flamenco dance can vary from setting to setting. For example, an impromptu dance performed at a wedding is much different in style than one in a classical theatre performance. The former is closer to the flamenco’s roots, the latter more structured in its style. Flamenco dancing is meant to interpret the words and music with emotion, often with the dancer spontaneously interpreting as he or she dances – but always within the framework of tradition and the compas. There are about fifty different flamenco dances. Those involving a couple (man and woman) are often the most intense as each interprets the passionate emotions of the music and play off each other’s moves.
As a visitor to Andalusia you will no doubt encounter the flamenco in some form, usually that geared specifically to a tourist audience. The dances will probably be choreographed rather than improvised, and the women will be dressed in the flounced, brightly-colored dresses with shawls, fans and castanets as additional props. There will be group dances and solo dancers.
If you wish to see a different flavor of flamenco music and dance, and experience real Andalusia culture, try to attend a tablaos flamencos
(a type of nightclub which has drinks, sometimes dining, and features the flamenco music) where the more passionate, interpretive side of the dance, and the music will be showcased. These venues are prevalent in the coastal resorts such as Marbella, or in the larger cities of Seville and Granada.