There are many places to see Flamenco Dancing in Spain, plenty of those are in Madrid, known as the capital of Flamenco. From back-alley local joints to exquisite dinner and show packages, you are sure to find an experience within your budget, and within your comfort zone as a tourist (how late at night you are willing to be on the metro in unknown areas).
After much deliberation, we chose Restaurante Tablao Villa Rosa. One reason for this is the history of the building. The site was in use in 1911 as a chocolate mill. Over the years it was taken over and transformed – the wooden counters and columns added, the beautiful painted tiles of Arabic and Andalusian style depicting flamenco dancing and bull-fighting. It has a rich history, evident in it’s walls, and has come a long way to being what it is today. Buildings just aren’t made like this anymore. We chose to have the simple “show with a drink” package, choosing to enjoy tapas at one of the many restaurants nearby before hand. The food looked amazing at Villa Rosa, but was slightly out of our price range, considering the show was the major draw for us. Having booked earlier in the day we scored a nice table only one table back from the front. Booking is available online, but if you go in during the afternoon, you can book in person, which we found far easier. From the moment it began I was captivated. First to grace the stage were two men– one with a guitar and one with his voice, both extremely talented.
Once the show was in full swing I got the feeling that these artists–the musician, the singer and the three dancers– are a family, a team, a close knit circle of people who live for their passion of flamenco. It was like being invited to an exclusive club, watching something of pride and passion. I was honoured to be there and witness it.
There was also the feeling of improvisation. As if the dancers and musicians were working together and going with what moved them. Their eyes would follow each other, they would cheer each other on, as one dancer took the stage and pressed themselves to their limits the others would look on, you could see the hope in their eyes that the dancer, their friend, would achieve whatever it was they were trying to.
It was skilled, it was perfection, these people are trained professionals who excel in their field. Yet it was personal, it had heart, I was moved.
Bravo Villa Rosa, Bravo.