Flamenco in Valencia – Radio City

Flamenco Valencia-4

Every Tuesday night, there is a Flamenco session at Radio City. We went this week, and had an excellent time.

I’m not an expert in Flamenco (and in fact, before I bought a Camarón de la Isla album 4 weeks ago, I had never really listened to it at all), but I think the performance in Radio City was pretty great. The performers all seemed to be a part of the same, extended Gypsy family. There were two singers, an older matriarchal figure & a younger one who looked as though she was giving birth, so pained was her expression while singing. Two guitarists provided the accompaniment — a grizzled, older dude who didn’t look up even once, and a much more lively & handsome younger man. ¡Gitano que guapo!

Flamenco Valencia-2

The musicians were fun enough to listen to (“fun” might be the wrong word — whatever it was they were wailing about cannot have been happy), but the highlight came when the dancers took the stage. First, a tall and very skinny guy stomped about, whipping his jacket from side to side and whipping himself into a frenzy. It was intense. At the apex of the dance he suddenly stopped and stared into the crowd, and at the same time the matriarch let loose with a wild gypsy howl — awesome.

And the second dancer, a woman, was even better. Every muscle was taut while she danced, and the tall guy was clapping the whole time for her, keeping the beat, yelling “Olé” and “Guapa” every once in a while. It really seemed as though the whole clan didn’t care whether an audience was there or not.

It must be said, though, that this was a stage performance, during which the audience was asked to remain quiet — not one of the wild, participatory sessions that can be found in Seville or elsewhere in Andalusia. Still, it was an incredible time.

The price is €7 and includes a drink. The show starts at 23:00, but show up a half-hour beforehand to ensure you get seats. There’s no need to buy tickets beforehand. As always, make sure to check the website of Radio City, to verify that this information hasn’t changed.

Link: Radio City

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Guillem

    The funny thing is that, while Radio City caters to the Erasmus and tourist audience, offering them the Spanish stereotype they crave after multiple Hollywood films presenting a dumbed down, homogeneous Spain, true Valencian culture manages to survive with very little help from both authorities or businesses.

    Indeed Valencian culture, repressed during the 40 years that the dictatorship of Francisco Franco lasted for, is supported by non guvernamental associations and grassroot movements: Escola Valenciana, Societat Coral el Micalet, many “Casals Fallers”, etc.

    As a Valencian, born and raised in Valencia city, it is a concern of mine that tourists from abroad keep coming to visit both the autonomous community and the city, and think they are to encounter their Spanish stereotypes from an Antonio Banderas movie. What gives? What should we do to make tourists interested in Valencian culture, and get them to know it a little bit? How can an erasmus student spend a whole year living in Valencia city and not know that we speak another language, apart from Spanish, Valencian? Are the authorities to blame, for not involving themselves in the issue, is it our fault for not making events and/or shows “attractive” to tourists, or is it that tourists don’t really bother about truly learning about the place they are visiting, and only want to confirm their stereotypes?

  2. Delfín

    As a lover of Valencia and all things Valencian, I agree with most of the concerns voiced by Guillem in his 2nd and 3rd paragraph.

    However, I love the content here on ValenciaBlog/HolaValencia, having found them on Twitter one year when I was there for Fallas, and I feel that they do a superb job of presenting happenings in Valencia–in writing, photos and videos– while also publishing about things which all foreign tourists seem to want wherever they go in Spain….and we can’t deny that flamenco is one of them. Although I know Valencia well, I have never been to Radio City; but I know of similar kinds of places in Madrid and Barcelona (touristy flamenco joints). There really is a market for these kinds of places and always will be, so they will continue to exist. It’s not all that bad.

    What I cannot believe though is that an Erasmus student could live in VLC an entire year, and not know about the “valenciano” language!!

    P.S. Guillem, I have to add that I think the Valencian government´s tourism and trade sectors work very hard, and successfully so, in promoting the culture in many ways; I notice this there as well as abroad. Next month is “Valencia in Chicago” month, for example, and all kinds of food products from Valencia region will be featured in stores and restaurants.

  3. Guillem

    Hello Delfin:

    I’m glad to learn about the “Valencia in Chicago” month, didn’t know about that!

    It’s funny, because just some days after I wrote that comment I attended an event at Octubre Centre de Cultura Contemporània organised by a cultural association, where both Valencian and non-Valencian students gathered. It was called a “Tastallengües” and the basic idea was to attend with some food from your country or region of origin, and write in a card the languages you knew and those you’d like to practice. There was Valencian food and drinks so people could taste them too.

    You had people from Poland, Castille, Galiza, England, France, Italy, etc etc… and also a lot of Valencian students.

    Everyone got the chance to taste some food from all around the world and of course traditional Valencian food and drinks, and I was surprised to find a lot of students from other countries and regions interested in Valencian culture. There was a Valencian traditional music show, that even got people dancing!

    All in all, I thought that maybe I wasn’t fair in my first comment: yeah, “touristy” stuff (bars or otherwise) is always going to be there, but there seems to be both an effort from Valencians to make their culture known and a genuine interest in it from many people coming from other countries.

    I even got to talk to three nice girls from the USA that were teaching English and told me they were taking Valencian lessons, that made my day!

    So, I apologize if my first comment sounded too “jaded”. Delfin is right and this blog does a good job at making Valencia and Valencian culture known. Just as a suggestion, perhaps you could also talk about some of these “less touristy” events going on, like the Tastallengües? There were a lot of foreign students there, so I’m pretty sure it’s got a market.

    Anyway, fair play to you and keep it up.

    Cheers too to you Delfin 😉

Leave a Reply