The Princess of Cádiz and a Flamenco Tomato
As the capital city of colourful and vibrant Spain, Madrid has so many attractions - but the most commonly expected entertainment would be flamenco. After the sad closure of a few traditional tablaos such as ‘Casa Patas’ and ‘Café de Chinitas’, there are still quite a few that proudly stand to entertain tourists as well as general flamenco fans.
Last week I happened to be in this beautiful city. Although I didn’t have much free time, I could sneak out only one evening to try to see a flamenco show!
Among several choices, my husband recommended to me ‘Centro Cultural Flamenco de Madrid’. Despite knowing famous places such as ‘Corral de la Morería’, ‘Villa Rosa’, ‘Cardamomo’, etc., I must admit that I hadn’t heard of this place before, but I decided to give it a try.
As it’s not a pricey tablao or even a bar where you’re asked, if not forced, to order food and drink while watching a flamenco performance, their show charge is comparatively affordable: €25 for a full act of 50-60 minutes. The venue is actually more like a little theatre with a little art gallery where you could enjoy flamenco-inspired artwork either before or after the show. The theatre part and the gallery part are both well-designed and well-presented.
On the day I was there, the star dancer, Claudia Cruz, blew me away with her gracia, aire and confianza. Known as ‘La Princesa de Cádiz’, she has such a warm, charming and elegant style with beautiful musicality as well as the sense of humour of Andalusia. While tourists tend to easily be in awe of acrobatic moves and fast footwork, her flavoursome style reminded us of how a dancer can invigorate the soundscape of flamenco rather than kill it - that’s how technique should be used in dance and that’s the artistry.
I was also impressed by the guitarist Victor El Tomate, who enchanted the audience with his rich and profound acoustic sound. As the name suggests, he belongs to the clan ‘los Tomates de Córdoba’. There are quite a few ‘tomatoes’ in the world of flamenco guitarists and they have such good quality.
If you have a chance to visit Madrid, check this place out and you might be able to discover your new favourite artist. You can of course try out other flamenco venues too. Madrid is so rich in culture and flamenco still shines.
Centro Cultural Flamenco de Madrid