It can happen every time we travel somewhere; we arrive at a new place full of anticipation to enjoy the exotic charms specific to that place, and the first thing we find is an army of companies and people offering us experiences that are mass-produced in order to squeeze the last penny off our pockets.
Spain is a destination many travellers instantly associate with Flamenco. Madrid, Sevilla and Granada are the Spanish capitals of Flamenco and they offer countless opportunities to enjoy the essence of this beautiful culture. But you need to learn how to choose. This article will help you identify the places that will give you an experience you will never be able to forget for the rest of your life.
How can I make sure I'll see a good flamenco show in Madrid?
Taking some time aside to investigate the best places online can be a good strategy. This way you can compare and contrast between different places and also ensure tickets for the best 'tablaos' (flamenco stages).
Doing this you will give yourself a better idea of what to expect and thus avoid sleek salespeople to get you to buy tickets to their mediocre shows.
I would spend some time researching online for the best places, because upon arrival to Spain there is a whole system designed to 'pull' tourists into any kind of place, which is not a very reliable strategy because though it can go right, it can also go wrong.
- Amalia Hornero
For instance, TripAdvisor is an immense source of information, but you need to know how to interpret that information; differentiate between authentic reviews and those written by the event organisers themselves.
Don't trust the cheap, it tends to end up being more expensive
An authentic flamenco show requires lots of effort and a meticulous selection of quality artists, which makes it an expensive production.
It is, therefore, impossible to provide good artists if these are not given a decent wage, and this is reflected directly in the price of the show.
If the price is suspiciously cheap, the show is probably mediocre, for in Flamenco Route Madrid we know you cannot support a talented team at a low price.
But not everything is price. One of the enemies of art is comfort; being in the comfort zone does not take creative people to innovate. They usually get bored on stage, and this way the only thing that comes out is technique without a soul.
This happens in many traditional places in Madrid, but it is a misunderstood 'tradition'; a way of operating that does not care for its people at the artistic level, and only cares about a good financial compensation.
Ensure the food reviews are good!
A good flamenco production not only takes care of its people, but also ensures the food offered in the shows is of the highest standard.
"I would dare to say there is no more than three places in Madrid that have the 'food badge' and of course Flamenco Route Madrid will applaud them and bring our visitors to them."
- Amalia Hornero
The establishment must have an updated website
It is important the establishment has an updated website with information about artists, services and lots of authentic and legit testimonials.
Even if they are traditional businesses, a website should give you all the information you need; this will show you they really worry to deliver great experiences.
Compare and contrast
Most of flamenco establishments copy each other, so you want to look for those that offer something different that arises from the will to share the passion and idiosyncrasy of this art-form.
It is important to look for 'the authentic' in these places, which tend to be so worn out by the tourists that the owners stop considering how delicate and beautiful of a thing it is to treat people well.
Sharing our culture arises from an act of generosity and gratitude for the fact that people have the curiosity to learn more about it. This requires a constant work of observation, documentation and creation, something that sadly does not happen in most 'tablaos'. This is because most of them carry on doing the same numbers they have always done. This way all is left is a 'tired' and outdated Flamenco, which has nothing to do with contemporary flamenco, an art-form that combines the authenticity of tradition with the feeling and expression of our contemporary artists.
This is a delicate subject, that is why "Flamenco Route Madrid" offers a consulting service to let everyone know what is the best Flamenco you can see in Madrid. The purpose of this is to avoid boring shows designed solely to rip tourists off.
Have you had any negative experiences watching flamenco?
We would love to hear your stories. Thank you for your comments
You can comment on medium too