One of the most common things associated with Spain is flamenco and Andalucia is famous for it, with both Seville and Jerez claiming that they are the birthplace of the style of dance. Wherever you go in Andalucia, flamenco plays an important part in their local fiestas with all the girls dressed in their flamenco dresses and all ages dancing together.
The origins of this dance are very interesting. It is thought that Gypsies in Southern Spain created flamenco music and dance in the 15th century, by blending their traditional dance and music from Sind, a northern region of India (now Pakistan) with the musical and cultural influences of Spain. If you want to learn more about the origins of flamenco, Ann Lee has written a very interesting article on Eye on Spain, you can also visit the Museum of Flamenco Arts in Malaga and learn all about it.
Not many people know that you can also watch authentic flamenco on the Costa del Sol. In Marbella the Ana Maria Tablao Flamenco is in the Old Town next to a beautiful church in Plaza Santa Cristo. This is supposed to be the most authentic show in town, but be warned it starts late with the doors not opening until midnight!
Another famous flamenco show on the Costa del Sol is at the hotel Torrequebrada in Benalmadena. This is a 3 hour extravaganza which takes place from Tuesday to Saturday at 10.30pm and lasts 3 hours. It costs 35€ per person including a drink on arrival.
There are flamenco routes all around the region and you can download the guide to flamenco in the area from the Costa del Sol tourist board website. This comprehensive guide tells you about all the styles the local artists and musicians and where you can go to experience flamenco in the area. They mention the Western Costa del Sol route with the Torremolinos Flamenco Festival in August, in October in Fuengirola there is a festival to celebrate the Virgin of the Rosary with flamenco in the streets and lots of special events to see. Mijas and Estepona both have singing competitions for flamenco singers and they recommend a number of good places to see flamenco all year round. Click here to download the guide.
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