River Guadalquivir weaves through the city, giving a sense of space and greenery. Gazing from any of the bridges or sitting by the banks is delightful and one of those leisurely things to soak in the time.
Standing from the Puente de Triana, on one side, you’ll see the dominant architecture of the Cathedral, a magnificent sight in the Jewish quarters (barrio), Santa Cruz.
Barrio de Triana
On the other side of the river lies another barrio, Triana, famous for flamenco, ceramics amongst others. Here the ambience veers more to the local as Triana is also a residential area
I love how on weekends, the people of this barrio, the Trianeros, the young and old, families, friends spend time together. You’ll find them going to the markets, sitting on street benches hailing one another, standing at the tapas bar drinking their Cruzcampo beer or gathered in groups dining alfresco. They enliven the streets, in a Mediterranean live-life-to-the-fullest spirit that many find very beckoning.
Where to Learn Flamenco
For those who love to travel and learn an art or craft from the source and its people, here in Triana, you have one of the finest flamenco academies in Spain, the Flamenco Academy of Manuel Betanzos. The Academy is located in a quaint residential street, Calle Rodrigo de Triana, minutes away from the river and picturesque with typical Sevilla home architecture with their azoteas, rooftops. The Academy itself is beautifully laid out and decorated to taste, with a patio within.
Classes take place in the morning from 10am and the early evening, with an afternoon lunch and siesta break in between. Classes are typically one-hour each. There are three studios in the Academy so classes can take place concurrently by different teachers.
Choosing a Suitable Level
If you already do have some flamenco training, then try out the professional classes. These are of high standards training students to enter the profession as dancers and artists of the future. It’s wonderful to be able to observe the intensity and inspiration within these walls, the focus of teachers and students, and be stirred by the melodies of the accompanying flamenco guitarist.
If you have a basic background of flamenco, you could consider the non-professional classes. These are of a more basic and accessible level for those who are newer to flamenco. There are also classes for children as well as Sevillanas, the popular dance associated with Sevilla and danced all day long at the famous annual Feria de Abril, April Fair.
Duration of Courses
As a guide, if you have a longer time in Seville, you could try out these abovementioned classes, which run for a longer period of weeks to months. This depends on a few factors including the duration of choreography. You might also wish to note the the Academy’s terms starts in the first week of September.
However, for those of you who have a shorter amount of time, say from one day to a week, you can get together a small group of friends and request a group class be specifically tailored for your level and objectives, such as a cultural immersion and hands-on experience learning a quintessential art of this country.
Flamenco at the Source
Flamenco is one genre under the rich range of Spanish dances. A strong individual dance that is an expression of one’s deep feeling. Heads-up, it’s not an easy dance to pick up compared to a social dance, but then, this is an art and any art takes time to learn. The fruits are rewarding.
It’s been many years since I started my classes at this Academy, and till now, I marvel at how much it is a privilege to have access to such high calibre teaching. If you are lucky, you’ll get to learn under the great maestro, Manuel Betanzos, himself.
For Open Classes, Contact
Contact the Academy for details of the open classes. You’ll find the secretaries friendly and helpful, and the teachers professional and dedicated to their vocation.
Academia de Manuel Betanzos
Calle Rodrigo de Triana, 30
T: +34 954 34 05 19
Flamenco Culture Trips
This is a partnership-programme with SaltShaker Productions and the Academia de Manuel Betanzos.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org g
T: (+65) 973 777 03 (Whatsapp)