Peña Flamenca Baezana

On the last official evening of the Encuentro Internacional de la Cocina del Aceite de Oliva Virgen Extra, the conference organisers took us out for an authentic Flamenco experience at Peña Flamenca Baezana in Baeza.

The performance space was downstairs from a bar in a tunnel shaped space with a bar at one end and a stage at the other.

The Stage was set!
Creative Commons License photo credit: Alexa Clark

I keep calling the space the “Flamenco Cave” before realizing that was the whole point, it’s a “typical gypsy cave” or tablao.

While I have heard a lot of flamenco and seen some live, this was the first time I’d seen it performed like this in Spain.  It was a private performance for an international crowd of guests. After the drinks were flowing and the food had been served, 4 performers mounted the stage.

Performers @ Flamenco Night
Creative Commons License photo credit: Alexa Clark

The 3 pictured above and an older woman dressed in a blouse, jean skirt and bar apron (who insisted she not be photographed). Once the music started rolling, the she danced a bit, and then went back upstairs to tend bar.

It had a strong down-home kitchen party vibe, albiet with a strong Spanish accent. The performers were having fun and so I had fun watching them. Flamenco is folk music and for me a big part of folk is embracing performances for what they are.

Things got a more lively after another couple of tunes. Two more guys joined in on stage to join in the singing (cante), rhythmic hand clapping (palmas) and food stomping, and shouting encouragement (jaléo).  It was a fun experience.

intaove delegates & students
Creative Commons License photo credit: Alexa Clark

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