Thursday, September 6, 2018

Flamenco Flash Mobs

We live in the Triana neighborhood of Sevilla. Triana is the birthplace of the flamenco tradition (encompassing voice, dance, and guitar). We are fortunate to be here during la Bienal, a month-long celebration of flamenco held every two years here. Our bridge (the best one) is closed this evening and there are musicians playing and marching on it. Down by the river is a stage and there are singers, dancers and guitarists playing in turn (still going on as I write this).

Laura and I went down to the river to watch for a bit. Turns out there was an organized flash mob of flamenco dancers. We watched as a dance number started and suddenly everyone in the crowd around us started singing and dancing and moving their arms in time with the lead dancers. Kids, adults, men, women, we even saw an impressive wheelchair flamenco dancer going at it. It's fascinating to think that these traditions are embedded in the people of our neighborhood. So deeply, in fact, that they can just walk out to the river on a moment's notice and start synchronized flamenco dancing with their neighbors. I can't really think of anything similar in the US except perhaps "the alley cat" haha.

In other news, the bodega across the street, Diego's, after a 4 week hiatus and a new paint job, re-opened. The nightly noise is back and better than ever! At least the building has been cleaned up substantially. The painters painted over the graffiti on Diego's roll up doors this morning. A vast improvement. Laura and I want to start a betting pool on how long it takes for someone to tag that sweet sweet blank paint. Here's a during and after painting sequence of great graffiti cover-up:

Speaking of graffiti, this mural popped up this week along the river path where I run. I promptly reported back to Rachel:
 In conjunction with la Bienal, this photo exhibit was set up over night on our main street here in Triana. These are just two of the dozen or so up and down the block:

 This evening, the flamenco bronze that marks the entrance to Triana had a big 'B' at its base for 'la Bienal':
 The bridge is closed to traffic:
 Lots of boats on the river:
 Plant/flower based adornments along the bridge:
I have some video, but getting them uploaded is something I'm not willing to wait for this evening. I'll try to post tomorrow.