For many prospective visitors of Sevilla, a few things come to mind when imagining the vibrant city. Besides beautiful architecture and great gastronomy (tapas, anyone?), bullfighting and flamenco are two of Sevilla’s signature traditions.
Upon hearing API students discuss their upcoming semester, these two traditions tend to come up often, as must-see things in Sevilla.
Thus, Monday September 22nd was time to check out one of Sevilla’s best late-night forms of entertainment and culture, a flamenco dancing and guitar show.
Around 10:30pm, we 4 cultural liaisons led the way for an excited crowd of 50+ students. This group comprised of not only students from Universidad Pablo de Olavide but also the University of Sevilla students who had just arrived in the city 4 days ago.
This was also the first event attended by several UPO Cultural Liaisons—Spanish students that work with us API liaisons.
Our destination, La Carboneria, is quite the hole-in-the-wall place, and we took classic small cobblestoned roads to get there. Since the place was off the beaten path, we presumed it would be quite the spot frequented by locals.
At the final street on our walk, Calle Levíes, the red door of La Carboneria greeted us. We step inside to a main hallway with a piano, platform, and wall-art, and then make our way over into the main room. An open space, with a bar, long wooden tables and benches lay ahead, along with a stage platform where one man was playing guitar and another was seated, singing.
Everyone picked a seat and ordered their drinks, among them the infamous Agua de Sevilla, then settled in to watch the performers.
A few songs later, a woman in a deep blue dress and flowers in her hair walks onto the stage and takes a seat. She begins to dance with strong foot stomping and palmas (handclaps) so confidently, that it appears to be improvised from years of experience. Her motions are inward, self-reserved, with hands twisting up and outwards towards the body. Guitar and singing accompanies her throughout, a medley you can’t help but be fascinated by. The men alternate singing and hand-clapping, never straying off-beat or tempo.
The crowd mirrors the energy of the performers, talking excitedly in between songs, and clapping vigorously at the end. Around midnight, the performers head off-stage, but we stay a little longer, enjoying each other’s company.
For an authentic, improvised flamenco experience, head over to La Carboneria any day; the locale is open from 8pm-2am nightly.