After navigating our way through a network of vein-like narrow cobblestone alleys, we emerged in the Plaza de Santa Cruz with its distinctive wrought iron cross and grove of orange trees which filled the night air with a sweet fragrance that delightfully lingered as we entered Los Gallos, an intimate flamenco club.
Three guitarists dressed all in black began with an introductory jam session filled with Andalusian soul. Halfway through my Sangria, the bailaoras descended a curved staircase from a loft above.
With the confidence and cocky bravado of matadors, the female flamenco dancers moved with both deliberate precision and improvised spontaneity. Their dramatic scowl, proud raised chins and arched backs expressed the haughtiness and arrogance that the dance seemingly required. In an incredible display of power and beauty, these women battled with each other in a paradoxical pas-de-deux of graceful contortion. The guitarristas strummed with the ferocity of an attacking army while these fiery warriors passionately wielded fan and shawl as they attacked amidst throaty, guttural songs. The undulating cry of the cantante is both haunting and hypnotic; it is an ancient chant which echoes from Spain’s Moorish past, building me up to near climax, only to end with a collective soft "alay", leaving me somewhat unsatisfied, but longing to be entranced again.
Throughout the show, I was entirely seduced by the intensity of the flamenco. The swirling of color, and heartbeat-like claps and stomps stirred in me a passion that I don’t often allow myself to indulge in. Its sensuality drew me out of my ordinary, sometimes reserved character. I sipped and savored the experience as I did my ice cold glass of Sangria. Both made for quite an intoxicating night.