A blog raveled in randomness
May 14 2013
On the second day at Barcelona, I lined up in front of Tarantos for a 30-minute flamenco performance with live music. Unlike the “Don Giovanni” marionette review, I will keep this review short because a flamenco performance cannot be described in words! I cannot remember when I had so much fun watching a dance performance and tapping feet to the rhythm of live music. The movements varied from strong steps to flowing curves, and the singers of the band had rough voices that immediately transfixed the audience to the stage. This flamenco performance occurs at a small bar on a small stage with limited seating. It gives a special 30-minute memorable performance, which will make you tap your feet and want to dance to the raw voices and movements of the Spanish musicians and the dancers!
Firstly the band was absolutely amazing. The singers were no doubt pouring their hearts out to the melody as well as the lyrics, and the guitar player had talent! His fingers were traveling across those metallic strings with such speed and passion. You know he is a music lover since he never put down his instrument during breaks. He would keep playing some kind of tune even the stage lights were gone. The backup singers tapped and clapped in different rhythms from their neighbor performers and created a spontaneous atmosphere with shouts of encouragements and compliments. The performance itself sometimes had a rough texture, and it complemented the other performances with smooth textures and soft lighting. Also you can see how all the performers (musicians and dancers) had their eyes in contact with each other. The performer commences by lightly clapping his hands, and the singers intently observe the performer and aggregates to the on-going rhythm with their feet and hands. The music further builds as others join, and the dancer starts to tap his feet on the stage. It builds a inexplicable tension that makes you want to tap your feet and sway like the singers. The unbreakable eye contact shows that their flamenco was part practice and part improvisation.
There were three acts in total, and I have to say that the last act performed by a male dancer was my favorite. I am not saying the others were bad, but I think the last act will stay in my memory the longest. He showed that flamenco was not all about the fast feet movements, but it was about facial expression and taking time with movements of his feet and hands. Also he did a funny thing at the end where he signaled the band to stop and went close to one of the stage light and blew on it as if blowing off a candle. The band members laughed with us at his improvised act, and you can feel the slight hesitation from the lighting crews not knowing what he was doing. It was a funny ending that made the audience laugh, and it was such a great atmosphere to be in at night. I heard that every time you visit Tarantos, they give you a different performance each night. I advise you that you visit this place when you have the chance to go to Barcelona because this is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see such a passionate performance.
Plaça Reial, 17