I have a confession to make, one that in Seville I should utter in low tones. OK, so here goes, ´I know nothing about Flamenco´. There I´ve said it. I know I´m not the only one here who doesn´t, but there are certain occasions when I feel like I´m the only person in the room who can´t tell a Bulerias from an Alegrias, and when it comes to ´tocando palmas´ (that´s clapping to the uninitiated), I might as well well stand in the corner with a dunce´s hat on.
But that doesn´t stop me from at least showing my face at the odd Flamenco evening, which on the whole I do enjoy, although maybe not fully understand. So on Sunday evening my old Sevillanas dancer Aina Nuñez was dancing at the Rincon del Buho near Plaza Pumarejo, and I thought I´d gather a few troupes and go support her. But as I arrived things dead on 8 o´ clock, when the show was due to start, Aina, her fellow dancer Maria Mandragor and the musicians were stationed outside on the street, and proceedings looked far from ready to start. It turned out that even the noise while warming up was more than one of the neighbours could bear, and after threats to phone the police if the show went ahead, Aina and co were frantically calling round to find a venue to step in at the last minute.
After a series of dead ends, luck was finally on their side, and off we trouped in the direction of Plaza San Marco to Bar La Puerta Sol on Calle Sol. A few of my friends had been to La Puerta Sol to see Flamenco in the past, and it´s somewhere that has the reputation for young, first time artists making their debut in front of the public. But on these occasions, it´s any port in a storm, and within 15 minutes the show was back on the road.
At this point an aficionado would be able to wax lyrical about the technical marvels of the performances, whereas my meagre flamenco knowledge limits me to a poor man´s review. But Aina and Maria intense, passionate precision, coupled with the tight bond between the musicians created an electric atmosphere, where after the previous false start, everyone was willing them onto their eventual explosive climax. This was topped off with the always fun ´fin de fiesta´, where fellow dancers and singers join the artists on stage and bust some flamenco grooves in a kind of dance-off love-in. You know you´re experiencing the real deal when this happens, and for me it´s invariably my favourite part of the night. So on this occasion it was a win to Flamenco, and a loss to the narky neighbour. Let´s hope there won´t be any rematch.
Aina Nuñez – Flamenco and Sevillanas classes 625 908 496
Bar La Puerta Sol, Calle Sol 67 (Flamenco shows most weekends)