Tourist Information Guide

Essential Guide To Madrid Flamenco Shows

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A flamenco dancer gives it her all
A flamenco dancer gives it her all
On this page you will learn how to find a flamenco show in Madrid. The flamenco scene in Madrid is big, and there are many venues that offer some form of flamenco performance. Learn about what flamenco is, and see a list of bars and restaurants where you can go to experience it. There are also directions to each bar.

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What exactly Is Flamenco?

Flamenco is a form of musical expression that is thought to have originated from the gypsies. During the time of the Spanish inquisition, when the king and queen of Spain were attempting to convert Spain's population to Catholicism, the Moorish occupants of Spain and the gypsies were forced to hide. To express the harshness of their lives at this time, they began to sing.

Guitar is an important part of Flamenco
Guitar is an important part of Flamenco

Flamenco today is both a form of song, and dance and music (usually the guitar). In a Madrid Flamenco show you will usually see all three elements, played out by a variety of performers. The dancing is forceful and passionate, and the melody of the songs is often full of painful expression. You should find the combination of the music, song and dance, and the feeling that is put into flamenco, quite a moving experience.

Making Videos Or Taking Photos Of Flamenco Shows

A male flamenco dancer entertains the crowds
A male flamenco dancer entertains the crowds

If you're at a Madrid flamenco show, you should always check if you are permitted to take photographs or make videos. Most establishments don't object, but there is the odd one that does.

It may also depend on who is performing. As a general rule, try not to use flash photography as it can distract the artist.

Also bear in mind that most people who love flamenco are passionate about it, and may not appreciate interruptions from the flash of a camera.

Tip Don't talk or make a sound during a flamenco performance. Any noise will be met with a harsh 'shhh' from other audience members. It is acceptable to shout 'Olé', but to know the correct moment to do this is important, so as not to disrupt the show, and is best left to the aficionados in the audience.

Finding A Venue That Serves Food

You'll find lots of Madrid flamenco shows where you can also get food. If you look for a venue that calls itself a 'tablao', then as a rule, these places also have the option of a full sit down meal before the performance. If you go to a bar, then you will probably be able to order a few small plates of tapas. Always book your meal in advance, as the restaurants get full all year round.

Click here to read about flamenco tablao's

Flamenco Covers A Wide Range Of Entertainment Styles

If you go and see a Madrid flamenco show you have the option of ordering a meal first, if you go to a 'tablao'. There are also many bars that offer live flamenco performances. Madrid is the centre of flamenco in Spain and you'll see that there are lots of performances to choose from. Flamenco has been around for many years, and today it combines song, music and dance, resulting in a powerful and emotional performance that is unique to Spain.

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