When it comes to flamenco, Seville is undoubtedly one of the best places – if not the best – to get your dose of the soulful art form. But the ideal kind of venue in which to catch a show is up for debate, and might ultimately depend on the type of flamenco you wish to see, and the setting that interests you most. So when in Seville, here are your top options for viewing one of Spain’s, and especially the South’s, most beloved traditions.
The flamenco tablaos are certainly the most common choice of tourists, and often for good reason. Given their popularity, the shows typically attract internationally acclaimed dancers, providing a professional presentation in an often theater-like setting. In all likelihood, the event should be entertaining and impressive, albeit a touch choreographed and, to some degree, seemingly less authentic. Also, given their popularity and high quality, prices to attend can run on the higher side, especially if you opt for a proper meal instead of just drinks.
For a potentially more authentic -- and, incidentally, less professional -- experience, you might want to instead head to a flamenco bar. Indeed various bars throughout the city will hold flamenco nights, during which the shows may include both music and dance, or simply just live music. Given that these are less-pricey affairs, you shouldn’t expect world-famous dancers or elaborately planned-out shows, but rather improvised entertainment that allows for a more traditional vibe.
Finally, if you’re really looking to save a few euros and break from the tourist-mold, you might want to consider hunting down a peña. These cultural associations are dedicated to the art of flamenco, and not on cash flow, and therefore nurture up-and-coming artists. As such, they provide a great setting for watching flamenco in a more casual setting. While they are often free to attend, and drinks are cheap, note that the setting is far from formal or fancy, and finding a show to attend might require a little more research.
Regardless of where you decide to get your dose of flamenco, you may want to consider a stop at Seville’s Flamenco Museum, where you can gain a better understanding of the tradition and its history.