Toros - Flamenco

Toros - Flamenco (1C)

If you were to name the two most traditional Andalusian customs, they would have to be the art of bullfighting and flamenco. They are the two traditions that tourists most commonly identify with Spain as a whole, when in reality it is an incredibly diverse country made up of different people with distinct cultural backgrounds.

The “corrida de toros” is a spectacle that involves facing off against enraged bulls, on foot or horseback, in an enclosed space. This traditional mass spectacle is one of the oldest in Spain, and indeed one of the oldest in the world. Also keep in mind that the Maestranza bullring in Seville is the most emblematic in Spain, along with the Las Ventas ring in Madrid. 

Sevillian bullfighting fans fill the stands throughout the entire season, which begins in April and ends in October. 

The origins of Flamenco are not as well defined, though it seems clear that gypsies were responsible for creating the art; a mix of Andalusian Arabic folklore set to Jewish and Christian music. Flamenco is expressed through song, rhythm and dance, and although there are many different “palos” (styles) and genres, the singers are moved more by inspiration and improvisation than by established rules. 

If you’re in the mood to see a truly spectacular flamenco show, you can’t go wrong at any of the tablao flamenco houses in the Santa Cruz neighbourhood, which, though a bit touristy, offer high quality shows. You can also listen to beautiful “cante jondo” style flamenco in the bars of Triana, and Calle Salado is home to lots of bars where people get a chance to dance in the traditional Sevillian style. 

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