Visiting Madrid? Here Are 4 Reasons to Visit the Cathedral of Flamenco
Listed in Patricia Schultz’s bestseller, “1000 Places To See Before You Die,” Corral de la Morería is known as the Cathedral of Flamenco.
Established in 1956, it’s located in the center of Madrid, close to the Royal Palace. It’s a restaurant with a flamenco show that presents the best singers, musicians and dancers in a spellbinding twice-nightly one-hour performance.
It attracts royalty, presidents and celebrities with its world-class service and entertainment from the best flamenco artists.
The traditional decoration in a historic building creates an atmosphere typical of the oldest flamenco establishments with an intimate dining area with view of a high stage.
Experience the Tablao (Show)
This past January, Corral de la Morería featured headliner super star, 32-year old Jesus Carmona, direct from his U.S. tour. The show started with two guitar players and two singers sitting in the audience that provided intimate start to a great show.
They were then joined on stage by more singers when Jesus Carmona gave us a sample of his explosive bit of footwork, his elegance and creativity. The female dancers were equally as passionate, technically brilliant and inspiring.
The show had elements old school elements like the ‘escuela bolero,’ which is a classic Spanish dance performed without shoes and accompanied only with castanets. There were the traditional Sevillanas dances and famous guitar solos from the playbook of Manuel de Falle and Paco de Lucia.
The performers seamlessly incorporated the old and the new flamenco styles with the clapping – “palmas” – counter rhythms that intoxicate and energize both the artists and the audience.
There was plenty of excitement and enthusiasm from the audience comprised of locals as well as tourists from around the world who shouted encouragement (jaleos) towards the performers.
Discover “Café Cantantes” (Flamenco Cabaret)
The first establishment to offer a flamenco show was “Café Sin Nombre” (Café without name) in Seville, Spain, circa 1842. More locales subsequently opened across Andalusia in the 19th century and across Spain into the mid-20th century.
The “cafés cantantes” were usually decorated with bullfighting posters, embroidered shawls and paintings of famous dancers.
Learn About the History of “Flamenco”
The dance itself dates back from the 18th century and is associated with the Romani (gypsy) people of Andalusia. In the past 50 years, flamenco has influenced many musical and dance styles.
It has become popular globally and is taught in many non-Hispanic countries. In Japan, there are more flamenco academies than there are in Spain!
In 2010, UNESCO declared flamenco one of the “Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.” Attending a performance introduces you to the wonderful language of flamenco.
Enjoy the Menu
Besides flamenco, the Corral is renowned for its menu, food quality, creativity and excellent service. They offer a choice of a set menu as well as tapas and a tasting menu. There is an ample wine list, but the house red and white wines are excellent.
There is a wide selection of traditional Spanish dishes as well as imaginative fare. We ordered the set menu and enjoyed dishes such as squid noodles in broth, roasted hake with fennel and a dessert of licorice rhubarb with champagne frozen lemon cream.
Other dishes on the set menu include barnacles with artichokes and red cabbage, and roasted pigeon with shallots. Everyone seemed to have been served petit fours at the end of the meal!
You can purchase tickets for the show at Euro 45 and order tapas or dinner separately. The set menu was either Euro 45 or 65 and “A La Carte” dinner started at Euro 35 and up.
Have you ever visited Madrid, Spain? What did you enjoy most about your trip? Do you enjoy the flamenco dance? Have you ever enjoyed a live performance? Please share your hot flamenco experience and what you most loved about it!