In Madrid, the flamenco in danger - The Point

A monument of the art of flamenco has already made the expense of the coronavirus : "Casa Patas ", a tablao iconic in the centre of Madrid, street Cañizares ;

In Madrid, the flamenco in danger - The Point

A monument of the art of flamenco has already made the expense of the coronavirus : "Casa Patas ", a tablao iconic in the centre of Madrid, street Cañizares ; no doubt, also, the best place of the capital to listen to flamenco, admire the game of tocaores (guitarists), flights of the bailaores (dancers) and the wailing of the cantaores (singers). Last weekend, the owners of the "Casa Patas" announced its closure. The reason is simple : foreign visitors, constituting 90 % of their customer base, including many Japanese, there is more to economic sustainability. In fact, even if in the middle of the pandemic that has a fiercely struck Spain (some 27 000 people dead and 240, 000 cases of contagion), the foreign tourism is going to tentatively re-emerge at the beginning of July, this will mostly be on the beaches, few in the capital. On account of the sanitary measures which provide a maximum of 50 % of attendance in the theatres, bars and night clubs, the hall of reference of the flamenco has quickly made its accounts and concluded that his survival was no longer assured.

the disappearance of The "Casa Patas" could be the beginning of a fall series. In Madrid, historically one of the Mecca of flamenco in the same way as the "Golden triangle" of Andalusia (Seville-Jerez-Cadiz), the number of rooms fear of suffering the same fate. Except if, say in chorus the professionals of the sector, the authorities granting public aid in order to save a heritage that may be affected. Flamenco is inscribed in the intangible cultural heritage of humanity by Unesco, and, in some regions such as Andalusia, it is considered as a national good of public interest. In Madrid, in particular, the patterns of the tablaos tremble. This is particularly the case of Juan Manuel del Rey, manager of the " Corral de la Moreria ", in the district of la Latina, a mythical place since its creation in 1956 : "If the municipal institutions, regional and national do we not come powerfully in aid over the coming months, the vast majority of us will not be able to hold out. In practice, it is important to take until the second half of next year, when, hopefully, the flow of foreign visitors will return to normal ".

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The speech is not very different in the other rooms important to Madrid, " The Candela ", " Villa Rosa ", The " Burladero "... At " Cardamomo ", especially frequented by the gypsies, in addition to the tourist clientele, it survives thanks to the implementation of technical unemployment for up to 26 employees, 85 % of the fees. "But, says the owner Ivana Portolés, if the room works only with 50 % of attendance permitted, and that foreign visitors do not appear, you can close up shop. "For the time being, the local authorities have not announced any financial support for these rooms. However, the situation is critical for a whole sector, because the vast majority of flamenco artists – dancers, guitarists and singers – live performances in the tablaos. Where the great fear expressed by Juan Manuel del Rey : "It is not only hundreds of jobs are at stake, it is the immediate future of flamenco as a performing arts that is in question. "Without a massive support of the authorities, said the majority, one of the key attributes of the Spanish culture wouldn't survive.

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Updated Date: 05 June 2020, 08:33

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