You may remember, before I left Canada last month I wrote about how I used to visit the Kino Cafe in Vancouver to watch flamenco dancing during my undergraduate days, and how completely thrilled I was at the thought an opportunity to see traditional Catalonian flamenco performed sometime during my stay in Barcelona.
It was every bit the thrill that I’d imagined..
After looking into various options for performances at different clubs and theatres, on my second to last night in Barcelona I had the opportunity to attended THE most fantastic show! JIWAR co-founder Mireia Estrada Gelabert directed my friends and I to a small club off of La Rambla called ’23’. A dark, long and very narrow space with mismatched chairs at the far end of the bar, once we got seated we were informed by a regular in the audience that we were in for a treat because the woman due to sing was one of the “best of the best” in Catalunya. I haven’t seen a wide range of shows to compare this one too, however I find it difficult to imagine that another performer’s voices could be much stronger then this woman’s.. At sound check she sat on stage in a long, modern and comfortable-looking grey and black stripped dress signing short bits, and joking with the other performers; a quick costume change later she was back on stage in a beautiful, long red dress with white polkadots (the polkadot design is rumoured to have begun with the gypsies wearing dresses covered in small round mirrors to ward off evil spirits), fringed at the bottom and neckline with a long white tassel fringe. Her hair was pulled neatly back with multiple white hair-clips and a carnation comb on the top of her head. She also had long matching white earrings called “zarcillos“.
The guitarist played beautifully, watching the singer intently as his fingers flew up and down on the strings. The dancer that night was male, and he moved with such speed of feet that it was hard to imagine it was humanly possible.
I was, truly, and totally a captivating experience!
A great door painting to a flamenco school, and some head combs from a flea-market, called a peineta.