The Real Flamenco

You could use the common clichés and descriptions: the room was filled with anticipation, everyone was on the edge of their seats, people saw the sparks of passion. None of these work. I don’t believe that anyone, not even the greatest writer, could capture what is live flamenco. Not the tourist crap that everyone who visits for a week gets suckered into— I’ve been there—I’ve seen the gaudy dresses and the overpriced sangria. It’s all too much. Real Flamenco is simple: cante, toque y baile or any combination of the three. Silence then sound. Three types of clapping. Many types of songs coming from different regions in Andalusia. Passion in all forms. Soft, beautiful faces that suddenly scrunch in pain—the voice becoming a well-tuned sob. Clap clap CLAP stomp. Clap clap CLAP stomp. Rhythm changing constantly with the mood—the guitar player flowing smoothly through the changes without any sign of surprise. The climax: a sudden flash of red leaps up and suddenly you realize that the woman sitting in the chair moments earlier singing out her pain and grief is smiling ear to ear and prancing around the room. Nothing can beat live Flamenco. Recordings cannot recreate the environment created by the artists. Your heart skips abruptly with each transition. The cry of pain instantly puts an ache in your own chest. The anticipation flung onto the audience as the guitar suddenly stops. The soft sound of expertly timed clapping growing faster and stronger. Live Flamenco is the environment, it is the moment. And this cannot be recreated by anyone.

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