More Madrid Flamenco

Two weekends ago I went to a flamenco show at Corral de la Pacheca and last Saturday night I went to one at Las Tablas. Both were very different shows in very different places.

corraldelapacheca9-14-07.JPGCorral de la Pacheca is obviously built for visitors (i.e. tourist), has a very large indoor space, and houses overhanging second-level above. The views are great from up there, easy to see the very large stage. It’s all located near the Plaza Castilla and in a very nice neighborhood. Meals are served but we were there for just the show and the free-drink included. The show was good and included a large “cast”. One of the dancers really impressed us and imagine she’ll be famous someday soon – certainly she’s well known already. I also heard this place, Corral de la Pacheca, was the location for a weekly 1980s program on Madrid television where they  hosted different flamenco singers, many of already famous – or would-be famous. The clientèle was totally non-Spanish.

lastablas9-22-07.JPGLas Tablas is well-located near the Plaza España on the second level of the building facing the Cuesta de San Vicente. To enter you must go around the back and up the stairs. The owners, Antonia (left in photo) y Marisol (right in photo), were also the dancers when the show started. They were both very obviously technicians in their art and we enjoyed watching the show. The stage is smaller, lower, and a bit more difficult to see the feet of the dancers. We were also very impressed with the singers. No smoking was allowed during the performance and no flash was allowed for photos either – making photo-taking nearly impossible. Still, the show was good and the price was cheaper (22€) than any flamenco tablao I’d visited. The place is smaller than most and does not have the typical rustic “tablao” look but I was told by one of the owners that the space is also used for theater, photo expositions, and other artistic events so this is why they decided to go with a more neutral decor. There’s no kitchen so food cannot be ordered – which is probably why the entry prices are cheaper – but one drink is included in the entry price. The clientèle was mainly Spanish.

What a last week it’s been for me. The more things like this I do the more I feel I’m becoming SPANISH! But surely no Spaniards live like me!

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So first I go to Corral de la Pacheca on a Friday night (14 Sept.). Monday (17 Sept.) I go for a good Paella Valenciana lunch at Restaurante La Paella de la Reina (see photo at right), then after-lunch drinks in the Plaza de Chueca. Wednesday I get together with the guys for the movie, drinks on a terraza afterwards, and then dinner on the Plaza Mayor! Friday I’m downtown again taking late-afternoon and evening photos of the city, later getting together with friends for a tapas dinner near Puerta del Sol. Last Saturday night I’m having jamón serrano, lomo, y queso at a nearby bar before the flamenco show at Las Tablas. Sunday I’m at the bullfights in Las Ventas. After that we have rabo de toro (bull’s tail stew) and chopitos (very small, fried squid) at a nearby bar/restaurant while watching a Real Madrid game on TV, getting home at 1am.

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Is this the true “Spanish Life”? Doubt it. But I’m enjoying it nonetheless.

 
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2 Responses to More Madrid Flamenco

  1. billy the man says:

    MadridMan wrote
    What a last week it’s been for me. The more things like this I do the more I feel I’m becoming SPANISH! But surely no Spaniards live like me!
    Now that you live and work in Spain/Madrid do you feel like a Spaniard or is it still a feeling you are on a permanent holiday? I know you are trying to intergrate yourself into the Spanish way of life or do you still feel like a foreigner and on the whole are you accepted by the spaniards?

  2. MadridMan says:

    I think I’m doing (or reacting) the same things that many people would do when moving to a new country. I’m probably attempting to do too much too quickly, that’s probably true. But then again, I have 40 years of experiences to make up in my last 40+/- years of my life!
    Everyday I’m downtown having a leisurely lunch I do feel like I’m holiday/vacation, merely because everyone else has to go back to work and I don’t have a schedule to keep. Oftentimes I even feel kind of embarrassed or guilty that I am enjoying myself SO much when so many other people aren’t or can’t.
    Generally speaking, I’m very well accepted by Spaniards – but NOT as another Spaniard. They clearly treat me like a foreigner but I’m accepted as that. Case in point – a few weeks ago I was speaking with a Spaniard about foreigners in Madrid. That Spaniard began lamenting about the negatives which come with immigration from non-Western European nations. And I said, “Hey! I’m a foreigner too!” And that Spaniard told me, “Yes. Well. You’re different. You’re white and professional, more like a Western European emigrating to Spain.” I wasn’t so sure I liked their answer, being generally racist, but that opinion MAY be held by many Spaniards.
    Am I on permanent holiday? Absolutely not. Today’s Saturday and I’ve been working since getting out of bed. Mind you it’s not hard work, my head doesn’t feel like it’s going to explode nor do my shoulders hurt from lifting heavy things but it is a form of work and it is how I make my living. And best of all, I enjoy it! So whether it’s weekends all day, all week plus weeknights, and shorter vacations away from Madrid it is work – but wonderfully flexible work. If I take a 2 or 3 or 5- hour lunch it doesn’t matter much because I more than make up for it, probably working a total of 60 hours every week. But it just doesn’t SEEM like work. And thank goodness for that!!!

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