Experience the passion of Flamenco live in Barcelona. Flamenco is a famous part of Spanish culture created by gypsies or Romani around the 19th century. Though the vibrant dance and music originated in Andalucia, it is alive and well in Catalonia. Flamenco is made up of baile (dance), canto (singing) and music. The eye catching costumes are an iconic part of the Flamenco experience that pulls viewers into the passion. Each clap, stomp, twist and turn creates a collision of the senses with color and sound. Barcelona’s Flamenco scene offers the authentic experience of this culture. Visitors can spend the night at a tablao watching a show or join in with a Flamenco class.
Where to Catch a Show
Tablao Flamenco Cordobes
A Flamenco guitarist and dancer fell in love, got married and in 1970 opened Tablao Flamenco Cordobes. Located on Las Ramblas, this tablao has spent decades claiming its spot as one of Barcelona’s best Flamenco spots. The venue is decorated in the classic singing cafe style of Flamenco origins. The arches of the dining room give the venue a seedy yet passionate underground feel that brings the sensual passion of the dance alive. Guests can choose to watch the show with dinner or a drink. Tickets range from 44 to 80 for an hour show in “the most important show restaurant in the city.”
El Tablao de Carmen
Established in honor of Carmen Amaya, a legendary Flamenco dancer, El Tablao de Carmen has been in Barcelona since 1988. Located in the beautiful Poble Espanyol de Montjuic, the venue is set up like a small theatre with wood and brick surrounding a center stage lit by white lanterns. The tablao promises no show is ever the same. The shows maintain the spontaneous outbursts of dance that are traditional of Flamenco style. Each show combines more seasoned artists with promising youngsters. Tickets range from 43 to 95 depending on your appetite for tapas and wine.
Barcelona y Flamenco
For a grander, more theatrical Flamenco experience, Barcelona y Flamenco offers two shows. Unlike the other tablaos, this one caters to a larger audience in bigger theatres. Their two shows, boast over 2 million viewers to date. The Gran Gala show is a larger version of the classic Flamenco show with “a journey into the heart of Flamenco.” The Opera y Flamenco show is a love story choreographed by the award-winning artist Rafael Amargo. The show combines elements of Flamenco and Opera to create a passionate story. Shows are performed in two theatres: Poliorama and Palau de la Música Catalana. The Palau de la Música Catalana is a World Heritage Site built in 1905 that is decorated with beautiful mosaics. Tickets are 35 to 50 depending on proximity to the stage.
Where to Learn the Moves
Arty in the City
Gather 6 of your most coordinated friends for a private group Flamenco lesson with Arty in the City. Classes are generally held in a dance studio in the Gracia area and last about 75 minutes. You can add the option of live music and singing during your lesson. No need to buy or rent an expensive dance costume, Arty in the City recommends comfy clothing and a low heel for their lessons .
“It is really focussed on the dance itself,” Nicole Voogt from Arty in the City said.
El Tablao de Carmen
If a late show at Tablao Carmen had you hooked on Flamenco, you can learn their moves in a dance class. One of the Tablao Carmen performers will teach you the classic clapping rhythms, arm movements, zapateado (or tap dancing) technique and improvisation. The classes are 45 minutes and have a group minimum of 15. Groups over 25 will have the full Flamenco experience with a dancer, guitarist and singer. Lessons are 24 per person. No promises, but you may leave dancing just like the beloved Carmen Amaya or at least feeling like her.
Another fantastic Flamenco lesson option is Barcelona Tours. These classes are an hour long and include a cup of Cava to shake off those dance nerves. A dance instructor will teach the classic moves including palmas (the clapping technique). Though it is not required, students are welcomed to come dressed in full Flamenco attire. Private lessons have a minimum group size of 8 and are 25 per person (based on a group of 15).