This experience in Sevilla with flamenco was so special. Let me explain how it came about.
In 2009 during journalism school I made a short documentary about flamenco in New York City. It was simply a class assignment that peaked my interest. Flamenco had revealed itself as a soulful and passionate art that called to me. There is an undeniable resonance I feel with the cries, rhythms and intensity of the music and dance. And I love that Flamenco is an improvisation. Each artist listening to the other, creating, expressing and communicating together. It serves as therapy not just for the artists but for spectators as well.
Earlier this year, Expedia offered me the opportunity to participate in their Find Your Storybook campaign. They told me that I could go anywhere I wanted, all I needed to do was plan the trip and go.
And while so many destinations peaked my interest, I wanted to take the opportunity to finally experience Flamenco in it’s birthplace. So I reached out to local organizations and guide companiesÂ in Sevilla to plan my trip. I was in search of my Travel-with-Kate-local. And I needed someone who could speak English and who could serve as my ambassador into the world of Flamenco. And as it turned out, Toursbylocals.com was able to find me the perfect person, Maria La Serrana.
Immediately upon connecting with Maria, we felt a synergy. We decided on the activities we would do together on camera. And it seemed the possibilities were endless. She really is the person to know if you want to experience Flamenco in Sevilla. And Maria was so enthusiastic about introducing me to her world of Flamenco. There is much we filmed that did not make it into this video! I’ll have to edit a second one that includes more from our classes, other flamenco dancers and a very special, impromptu jam session.
But in this video, you will begin to get a sense of Flamenco in Sevilla. Please Enjoy. And please leave me a comment below.
For planning your own experience:
You can find Maria on her website where you can contact her for classes and Flamenco experiences. I’d suggest asking if you could go to one of her Flamenco evenings at her tablao in the neighboring town of Salteras.
Toursbylocals.com lists Maria and many other interesting locals to book experiences who can show you around (around Sevilla and destinations worldwide.)
You can take a class with Juan de los Reyes, the very passionate Gypsy Flamenco teacher from the video. I’d suggest having a base in Flamenco before trying a class with him. Here’s his site.
The scene from the class at the beginning of the video is from a class at the Andres Marin Estudio in Sevilla. You can take classes there as well. Here is their site.
The singer from my class with Maria is Pili Campallo.
And from the performances, the dancers were Maria La Serrana, Marga Perez and Rafael del Carmen. On guitar was Ruben Romere Gonzalez and the singer was Javier Hidalgo Rivera.