I’m madly in love with Sevilla. Yes, it gets scorching hot during the summer, but I love it. I love the heat within the medieval walls. The food’s great, people are kind and everything is still pretty cheap. But my favourite thing in Sevilla? That one concert I went to on a random night.
Going to a Flamenco performance in Sevilla isn’t exactly a big travel secret. It’s not (at all) off the beaten path. You can find them on Tripadvisor, Lonely Planet, there are flyers all over the city, etc. By watching videos on YouTube, I understand Flamenco wants to express a feeling of melancholia or a certain kind of passion by singing and dancing. I wound up in a little bar with no entrance fee and sangria too cheap to be true. I thought I was going to see some amateur dancers, but once they started, I could not believe my luck. They were so talented! I mean, I’m no expert, but it felt so authentic and real. I remember sitting on a chair, front row, in my long red dress (when in Spain…), and feeling so deeply, deeply happy.
It’s as if I could feel the pain they were singing and every time the dancers pounded their feet into the wooden floor, my heart pounded with them. I remember thinking: this is it. Let the world stop and let me stay in this moment forever. The men clapped their hands on the beat of the guitar and I had to restrain myself from jumping on stage and joining them in their madness. It was better than fireworks. Better than food. Better than sun. I felt like a little child discovering something magical. I was mesmerised. That’s what a performance should be like. When I left the bar, drunk with happiness, the streets smiled at me all the way to the hotel.
I fear I don’t ever want to see another Flamenco show again. Anywhere in the world. Because nothing will beat the impromptu rawness and purity of that little bunch of male Flamenco dancers, hidden in the little streets of Sevilla.