The Ambrosia and Cueva Flamenca
Having friends with a great passion for Flamenco can take you to one of the most characteristic corners of the city. A small bar. A dedicated corner to face the dance, the music and the voice of typical Guitars and Flamenco culture.
Someone says that real flamenco can only be found in Andalusia. It’s not true. Gitan culture impregnates all of southern Spain, including Catalonia. And the mezcla, here is how we say, is inevitable.
Barcelona welcomes a multitude of ethnicities. From North Africa, passing through Italy and all over northern Europe and Latin America over the ocean. So you can find a Good flamenco here too. Hidden Certainly. In some bars with few seats and a small space for a face-to-face performance with the artists.
Have friends dedicated to flamenco dance can give you some great experiences. Cristina for example. A girl who for years devoted all her soul to this almost shamanic hypnotic dance. Here in Barcelona, where everyone is in a hurry and the roads are often divided quickly, it is not easy to stay in touch. Fortunately, social networks can help you. Hence I literaly fell in one of his performances. A short walk from home. At Ambrosia La Gintoneria.
As usual I do not have great talents in social relationships or else I would be doing a public relations disco. At the end, however, I got the info where she perform and permission to take some photos.
I take a quick bicing, do not you know what it is? Here you find everything. In a few minutes I’m at the bar. Small, discreet with an intimate atmosphere with the typical exposed bricks of the walls. Quite dated I believe.
A tent closes the passage at the end of the corridor. Entering the veil and discovering another room.
A small place with remodeled and repainted chairs that give the typical amateur and casereccio touch. This is how i like! Warm and dull lights as if they were the houses of a village. A small arch of bricks gives the final touch to imagine being in a corner of a typically Gitan’s town.
There are no stages that divide the audience and artists. The chairs are arranged so close that you are almost inside the show. Indeed it is just so. You’re inside! Friends, curious and tourists arrive by making the full room in few minutes.
Why do the singer call him tostado? I do not know, I did not ask. But the nickname gives him his voice. Hot, deep, powerful. And just a few feet away from him as the guitar player accompanies him a bit of awe. He seems to be angry with some of the audience as he sings hard and intensely.
The hands begin to beat a ritm, while the flamenco guitar accompanies the voice. The room is too small to hold the tostado force. Many viewers are friends or people who have to do directly with flamenco. Hence they do not hesitate to interact with the song. Typical gitan manners. Cristina begins her dance. His shoes snap fast tones in harmony with hands and guitar. Sometimes the two rhythms are so intertwined that you do not understand what your hands are and what their feet are. It’s not just a dance. It looks more like a shamanic dance. Eyes closed, sweat, moments of deep intensity. I get kidnapped by forgetting to snap.
The warm and familiar atmosphere makes it possible for some public talk. Someone interacts with dancing, beating his hands at pace. Beware the whole show is improvised. There are no scores or notes. Not even the typical hints among amateur musicians. The entire performance born and ends in the complete naturalness of the three.
He could not go better from the emotional side. Very beautifull. Only the photographic part has suffered a little. The weak and warm light does not make things easy for any reflex. And the use of limited flash, for my own choice, has forced to rise up the ISO with a bit background noise. I do what I can. With what I have.
The show ends, they are not mere words. Few cheerful but surely a sincere thanks to the trio. I need to go home. I have some work to do and tomorrow I have another appointment. Totally different. I’ll be at Extreme Sailing 2017. What is it? Click here for a link here and take a look!
At Ambrosia performances continue every Thursday with flamenco singers and dancers always different. A production by guitarist Jero Férec.
But first don’t miss to see my The Ambrosia and Cueva Flamenca gallery!