Festival Carmen Amala home
Flamenco may have its roots buried deep in Andalusia and India but there's no escaping it here in Barcelona this month as the Festival de Carmen Amaya launches for the first time.
Purists will tell you that while you might be able to pick up some of that quick-paced guitar strumming or fanatical foot stomping at a class, the wild spontaneity of true, traditional flamenco just can't be taught. Because of this, famous self-trained dancers like Carmen Amaya are given legendary status amongst flamenco fans.
Born in the Somorrostro slum of Barcelona (now Vila Olípmica) Carmen Amaya ruled the flamenco roost from 1913 until here death, taking Paris by storm and performing for successive US presidents. The 'queen of the gypsies' Amaya broke the mould of controlled flamenco dance with a style that was purer and wilder than that of her contemporaries.
Festival de Carmen Amaya then is not just a celebration of her life but a reminder of her poise, style and spirit too. Over the weekend, the festival will be hosting world-class gala performances at the Teatre Coliseum and showcasing new talent at the Tablao de Carmen in a competition that will look for the best interpretations of Amaya's signature dances.
Manuela Carrasco, renowned for her controlled dance style and gypsy beauty, will perform at teh Coliseum on Friday 22nd alongside the bassy tones of Remedios Amaya. On Saturday 23rd, legendary guitarist Tomatito, discovered by Paco de Lucia and known for his work with Camarón del la Isla, will play on the same bill as the newly crowned competition winner and acclaimed dancer Juana Amaya. Best grab those castenets.