Seville – Feel the Flamenco Dancers Dance

There are times when the simple saying of a city name elicits a response or an ah moment from people.  Speaking the name Seville has always brought to my mind music and Flamenco.  Long before we traveled to this city in Spain did I think I knew where the heart of Spanish dance came from.

One of the most majestic attractions in Seville is of course The Cathedral of Seville.  It is the first place most tourists are brought.  © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Seville has more to offer than just music and dance.  One of the most majestic attractions in Seville is The Cathedral of Seville. It is the first place most tourists are brought. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Seville has a population of 1.5 million people.  Is the fourth largest city in Spain.  The Seville harbor is the only river port in Spain.  © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Seville has a population of 1.5 million people. It is the fourth largest city in Spain. The Seville harbor is the only river port in Spain. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

It was from Seville in 1519 that Ferdinand Magellan departed for the first circumnavigation of the Earth.  © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

It was from Seville in 1519 that Ferdinand Magellan departed for the first circumnavigation of the Earth. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Seville is approximately 2200 years old.  Its mythological leader is Hercules.  © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Seville is approximately 2200 years old. Its mythological leader is Hercules. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

From 1492 when Columbus landed in the New World to the late 16th century Seville was the only port where trade would take place between the Americas and Spain.  All merchants from around Europe had to come to Seville to send their goods to America.  This monopoly made Seville grow to almost a million people during that time.  © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

From 1492 when Columbus landed in the New World to the late 16th century Seville was the only port where trade would take place between the Americas and Spain. All merchants from around Europe had to come to Seville to send their goods to America. This monopoly made Seville grow to almost a million people during that time. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

The first Auto de Fé took place in Seville on 6 February 1481, when six people were burned alive.  This was the beginning of the Spanish Inquisition.  It would last over 200 years.  This building is the Royal Tobacco Factory - it is the second largest building in all of Spain.  © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

The first Auto de Fé took place in Seville on 6 February 1481, when six people were burned alive. This was the beginning of the Spanish Inquisition. It would last over 200 years. This building is the Palace of San Telmo – the seat of the Presidency of this part of Spain. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

 

 

This is the Metropol Parasol: The World’s Largest Wooden.  It is found in the center of Seville.  © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

This is the Metropol Parasol: The World’s Largest Wooden structure.  It houses a museum and a farmers market. It is found in the center of Seville. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

 

In the 19th Century Seville unfortunately began expanding and in doing so demolished part of its ancient walls, and along with it its history.  © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

In the 19th Century Seville unfortunately began expanding and in doing so demolished part of its ancient walls, and along with it its history. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Hidden behind many of the doors that line walkways are opulent and stunning open courtyards that lead into many of the homes in Seville.  During the month of May many of the doors are left open so that tourists can take pictures of what these open courtyards look like.  © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Hidden behind many of the doors that line walkways are opulent and stunning open courtyards that lead into many of the homes in Seville. During the month of May many of the doors are left open so that tourists can take pictures of what these open courtyards look like. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Flamenco dresses are worn by woman of all ages and are worn during Feria (festival) times.  © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Flamenco dresses are worn by woman of all ages and are worn during Feria (festival) times. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

During our day in Seville we rode the touristy hop-on hop-off bus.  The drive around Seville was only 90 minutes.  So much of old Seville has been demolished.  The tour mostly talked about what was located in a particular spot years ago.  © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

During our day in Seville we rode the touristy hop-on hop-off bus. The drive around Seville was only 90 minutes. So much of old Seville has been demolished. The tour mostly talked about what was located in a particular spot years ago. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

 

This is the Torre del Oro.  It was built as a watchtower.  Today it is a Naval Museum.  © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

This is the Torre del Oro. It was built as a watchtower. Today it is a Naval Museum. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Every major city in Spain has a bullring and Seville is no exception.  Many cities have begun to ban bullfights but learning to be a matador is still something many children still contemplate.  Bullfighting has a long history in Spain beginning as far back as 1726.  © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Every major city in Spain has a bullring and Seville is no exception. Many cities have begun to ban bullfights but learning to be a matador is  something many children still contemplate. Bullfighting has a long history in Spain beginning as far back as 1726. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Seville is a city where old architecture mixes with new high rises.  One must walk the streets of Seville to see the charms the city has to offer.  Seville is a very walker friendly city and treasures can be found on every street and around every corner.  © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Seville is a city where old architecture mixes with new high rises. One must walk the streets of Seville to see the charms the city has to offer. Seville is a very walker friendly city and treasures can be found on every street and around every corner. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

The art of Flamenco in Spain has become a tourist trap spectacle.  We were asked if we wanted to pay outrageous sums to see a Flamenco show done by Gypsies in a cave in a remote location one night.  When a show is being produced for tourists it is no longer authentic and native and no longer holds any value for me.  It is sad that such a great dance legacy has been relegated to tourism trap status.

Flamenco is a learned skilled and not a simple dance routine.  Real Flamenco takes hours of training and skill to master.  When you see someone trained in the art of Flamenco you applaud because your heart is racing with each clack of their shoes on the floor and with every thundering tap of the music.  Great Flamenco reaches ones sole and applauding is the only way to show appreciation for that which elicits such emotion.  This is why I used the music I did when I created my video salute for Spain.  More than anything else the sound of Flamenco says Spain to me.

Ah, Seville…

Florence Lince

http://about.me/florencelince

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