Sadlers Wells' annual Flamenco Festival brings a whirligig of colour, passion, drama, guitars, stamping and really big flouncy dresses to London between 23 Feb and 3 Mar in a welcome bid to remind us of sultry hot days and sunny Spanish sexiness.
Highlights of this year’s festival include the remarkable Granada-born dancer and choreographer Eva Yerbabuena; flamenco’s star vocalist and the singing voice of Penelope Cruz in Pedro Almodovar’s film Volver, Estrella Morente; some of the finest artists from Malaga in Málaga en Flamenco; Isabel Bayón Compañia Flamenca and guest artist Miguel Povedal; and one of flamenco’s greatest guitar players Gerardo Nuñez with flamenco legend, the fiery gypsy Carmen Cortés.
If you’re a closet Hispanophile or that stellar line up brings out the rampant gypsy in you, get yourself to the Mezzanine level directly after the shows on 26th and 28th Feb and show off your raw talent at the free-for-all flamenco sessions for audience members (remember to wear hard soled shoes if you really want to make some noise!)
Finally, for the genuine late night Spanish party experience (and if you can gatecrash it because it’s already sold out) check out the Juerga being held at the Kings Head, Upper Street on 25 Feb from 8 till late – promising to be the biggest flamenco party in town. However, if you get left on the street, take your castanets down the Islington Tapas Bar, 21 Essex Road, N1 and console yourself with some authentic munchies and a glass or two of Rioja, and admire the patriotic decor.
See what’s on and book here. Tickets start at just £10.
By Lindsey Clarke
Image copyright Outumuro.