August 10, 2015
Here’s something you might not know about Albuquerque: it is a hub of all things flamenco. Around since the 18th century, flamenco came out of AndalucÃa in southern Spain, and on its way around the world (it’s seriously popular in Japan) it became deeply ingrained in the culture of New Mexico, nowhere more so than in Albuquerque.
The city has its own annual flamenco festival, a school dedicated to teaching this passionate dance, and a wide variety of ways to watch and enjoy flamenco across the city. So, grab your castanets and get ready to stamp your feet, here’s how to experience flamenco in Albuquerque.
Every summer, the Festival Flamenco Internacional de Albuquerque lights up the city, with the festival in 2015 marking its 28th anniversary. Thousands of people, from newcomers to professionals, from all around the world attend this seven-day celebration of flamenco in Albuquerque, taking classes, watching performances, and meeting other lovers of the art form. In fact, it’s the largest event of its kind outside of Spain, so if your trip to the city coincides – don’t miss it.
The National Institute of Flamenco and the University of New Mexico jointly host the festival. Speaking of: it’s a testament to the state’s devotion to flamenco that the University of New Mexico is the only place where you can pursue a BA in flamenco.
The energy and passion of flamenco can be alluring, so head over to Casa Flamenca to take a lesson or two while you’re in town. They have drop-in classes for beginners (kids, too) and private classes – perfect if you don’t feel comfortable strutting your stuff in front of other people. The instructors are world-class, so you know you’ll be getting some expert tuition.
Another great way to enjoy a performance of flamenco is in an intimate setting, preferably with lashings of great wine and plenty of tapas to tuck into. Enter: El Farol. Although found in Santa Fe, this famous restaurant has great food, a winning atmosphere and live flamenco dancing as entertainment, so it’s definitely worth the drive (just be sure to make a reservation in advance).
Albuquerque knows how to throw a spectacular flamenco-themed party. With events and shows happening at venues around the city throughout the year, keep your fingers crossed and check with Albuquerque Cultural Services to see if your visit coincides with one of the local fiestas.
Booking a trip to Albuquerque? Our codeshare arrangement with Delta makes it simple for you to travel all over North America.
Have you experienced flamenco in Albuquerque? Where would you recommend going to see live flamenco in the city? Let us know in the comments section below.
Written by Giverny Tattersfield