What is the best flamenco show in Spain? Where can you enjoy an evening in Spain and be immersed in the art of flamenco?
“Could you please advise of a non-touristy flamenco show in Spain?”, “I would like to experience authentic flamenco, not flamenco for tourists”, “Please, tell me where I can find the best flamenco show in Spain” and it goes on and on. I get an incredibly high number of these requests from my readers. So I decided to answer to this question, based on my own experience.
What is the best flamenco show in Spain?
OK, let’s get to it.
What is my favorite flamenco show in Spain?
I have no doubt about it: it depends on the city you plan to visit.
- Madrid is not the traditional home of flamenco, but as the capital city it attracts the best performers as this is where the money is. As Madrid is less famous for flamenco, its flamenco venues are not marketed so strongly towards tourists. To see the best flamenco show in Madrid go to Corral de la Morería.
- Though Barcelona is not historically associated with flamenco, the city’s cosmopolitan appeal has attracted flamenco artists from Andalucía to Catalonia. Some of the biggest flamenco shows now take place there. To see the best flamenco show in Barcelona go to Tablao Cordobés.
- There are so many venues to see flamenco in Seville that you will have difficulties deciding which one to visit. To see best flamenco show in Seville go to Casa de la Memoria.
- Granada is known as one of the birth places of flamenco, and makes for an excellent place to see a performance. To see best flamenco show in Granada go to El Templo del Flamenco.
- Córdoba‘s flamenco scene is thriving and some of Spain’s best known dancers are from the city. To see best flamenco show in Córdoba go to Tablao El Cardenal.
Why you should go to a flamenco show
Attending a flamenco show is an experience that you must experience. It’s the best way to feel closely the passion and the strength of this amazing art. The cante, the guitar music, the deep singing, the zapateao, the palmas and the beautiful dance create a magical atmosphere that you shouldn’t miss.
If you go to a tablao flamenco, there will be tourists around you. On the contrary, if you go to a flamenco recital, where you are more likely to be surrounded by local flamenco fans.
Nevertheless, flamenco shows that tourists attend are totally compatible with high-quality flamenco. That being said, you want your seat to be as close as possible to the performers, so you can see the expressions on their faces, which is truly amazing.
So there is nothing to worry about, go ahead, get your tickets and enjoy!
What is a touristy flamenco show?
Well, it represents second-rate and fake flamenco.
There are many signs that help you recognize a touristy flamenco show:
- Performers are mediocre, either because they’re newbies or because they will never get to high standard.
- The most folkloric, and obviously less authentic, elements of flamenco are highlighted. You will notice too much color in the clothing, when the truth is that is should be the opposite, or over-the-top drama in the gestures (the should be strong, compelling but sober).
- There is an overall lack of attention to detail in terms of service, seating and visibility, sound quality, lighting, etc.
In other words, it’s a flamenco show that is excessively theatrical and exaggerated. It only exists for commercial purposes, and the owners are focused on captivating tourists (their money and attention) to give them what they believe flamenco is rather than what it actually is.
On the bright side, the idea of touristy flamenco assumes that somewhere in the Seville, around the corner, there is real flamenco going on, staged just for the locals and true flamenco insiders.
In general, the rule of thumb is that you should avoid flamenco shows that include a dinner. The food is almost never of good quality and almost always overpriced. So when in doubt, best see the show and then have dinner separately.
The good news is that you don’t need to do any research. I’ve done it for you!
This article is part of a complete tutorial about flamenco in Spain where you can read all the information you need to enjoy this typical Andalusian folklore.
Here is a complete summary of all the guide:
1. What is flamenco?
2. Where to see flamenco in Spain?
3. The best flamenco show in Spain
4. How to enjoy flamenco dancing in Spain
5. Where to take flamenco dance classes in Spain
6. Flamenco history and origins
7. Understanding flamenco singing (cante)
8. Understanding flamenco dance (baile)
9. Understanding flamenco guitar (toque)
10. The different flamenco styles
11. A flamenco glossary