Flamenco and Duende in Madrid

Flamenco at Villa Rosa

We met cousin Duncan at his local metro then walked to his apartment. After siesta we went out to explore Madrid with Duncan and Virginia as our guides, and late in the evening we ended up at the Villa Rosa.

When you walk in the door the first thing that grabs your attention is the hand painted tiled friezes behind the stage, the next is the arabesque arches and the ornate ceiling panels. If you think it all looks familiar that’d be because Villa Rosa featured in one of Almodovar’s films.

The place has been around in one guise or another since 1914, though it did do time as a disco in the 1980s then as a nightclub in the 90s, but now it’s back to flamenco. Hemingway’s reputed to have drunk there, but you know they also say that about every cafe in St Germain…

Villa Rosa flamenco #2

We were in luck and got seats close to the stage, there were three performers, two women and a man, with individual performances and then a short group performance at the end. I’ve no idea whether it was good flamenco or bad flamenco, but was it a gripping, mesmerising, can’t tear your eyes away spectacle? You bet.

Flamenco #3

There’s a darkness behind the intensity, like a great blues act or Nick Cave on a good day.

Through the empty archway a wind of the spirit enters, blowing insistently over the heads of the dead, in search of new landscapes and unknown accents: a wind with the odour of a child’s saliva, crushed grass, and medusa’s veil, announcing the endless baptism of freshly created things.

Garcia Lorca

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