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Entertainment & Culture



Also known as cante jondo (Andalusian gypsy singing) represents the purest Andalusian expression of folklore. Its origins, still disputed, are linked to the arrival of gypsies during the 14th C to the flat farmlands of Cádiz and Seville. It is believed that they originated from a region in the north of India called Sid, which today is part of Pakistan, fleeing from a series of conflicts or invasions from foreign conquerors.

During the middle of the 19th C, flamenco was made popular by singers who frequented cafes. The first such café opened in Seville around the year 1885. They later extended throughout Andalusia and Madrid. Up until then flamenco was not common in family reunions or private parties.

Mythically this art form has been related to the gypsy race. However flamenco is a complex phenomenon, with multiple variants making it difficult to circumscribe it to a specific social or ethnic group.

All experts of this expressive artistic form agree on its three essential elements: song (cante), the guitar (toque) and dance (baile), having countless styles (palos), grouped according to more or less common structures, melodies or themes.

Tourists in Seville can enjoy daily performances of this art form in all of its splendour in well known flamenco tablaos (venues for flamenco), direct inheritors of the ancient cafés, the neighborhood peñas (flamenco club enthusiasts) or village festivals.


Bienal de arte flamenco

Just the same, throughout the year numerous flamenco festivals are held. The famous Bienal de Arte Flamenco, celebrated every other year, attracting the biggest names in song and dance, is definitely worth highlighting. This incomparable encounter has been held for twenty years. Its main objective is to internalize this culture in the social fabric of Seville and later throughout all of Andalusia.

Bienal de Flamenco
Pabellón Real. Plaza de América s/n
Tel: +34 954 592 870
Fax: +34 954 592 872

The Bienal is the world's reference to flamenco. It's the greatest showcase from where the best and the latest trends in flamenco are offered. Held every two years, coinciding with even years, the next edition is scheduled for 2004. Seville, Andalusia and Spain are converted into the world epicentre of flamenco. Travellers to Seville, tourists, businessmen, diplomats or by chance visitors have all shown a priority interest in flamenco, above and beyond any other musical or artistic proposal.

The Bienal begins in September and lasts until the beginning of October. However the road leading to this event is laid months in advance in various districts of the city with different flamenco proposals. They include, "La Bienal va por barrios" (Bienal in different neighbourhoods) or the series, "A palo seco", intimately celebrated in the patios of stately and monumental homes throughout the city.

Scenic city stages and theatres, such as the majestic Teatro Maestranza, the Lope de Vega, the Alameda, the Central, Las Peñas Flamencas, the Hotel Triana... are transformed during this period into temples of worship of flamenco.

More than five hundred artists participate in the Bienal, presenting some really interesting proposals and deluxe debuts.
The Feria Mundial del Flamenco (World Flamenco Fair), which is jointly organized by the Bienal and Fibes, has become the commercial reference of all fairs held at the Palacio de Exposiciones y Congresos de Sevilla (Seville Exhibition Hall). Over 15,000 visitors and 200 accredited journalists have visited the installations of a Fair which is on the rise.


World flamenco festival

Palacio de Exposiciones y Congresos de Sevilla (Seville Convention Center)
Avda. Alcalde Luis Uruñuela, s/n
Tel: +34 954 478 700
Fax: +34 954 478 745

Since 1980, when the first universal Bienal de Flamenco was organized, our city has become the world capital for flamenco lovers. At the same time Seville can boast of being twice the showcase city for enthusiasts and professionals of this sector as annually the Feria Mundial del Flamenco (World's Flamenco Fair) is held.

This fair is an event that invites the top artists, offering direct performances, festival promotions, presentations of records; producers, distributors and exhibitors of flamenco goods, audiovisual companies, artist reps, the fashion world, etc... All related sectors have a place in this fair, making it the most complete event possible, while increasing public interest as well.
The Fair is held in October at the Palacio de Congresos y Exposiciones, and on even years when the Bienal is scheduled, it coincides with the last few days of this festival.

The idea of this fair is to give continuity to the activity that the successful Bienal fair has achieved, encourage important business relations within the sector as well as the promotion of Andalusian traditions and roots. From a business point of view this event is a showcase which promotes producers of items related to flamenco. Also during this gathering festival directors and organizers have the opportunity to meet up and prepare future programming. Thus the fair becomes an effective forum for contracting performances. From the point of view of the simple flamenco enthusiast, this event allows one the chance to see the latest products and tendencies within this sector.

During the days that the fair is held many related activities are scheduled. They include conferences, round table discussions, presentations of books and records and autograph sessions, fashions shows and audiovisual projections, etc. Exhibitors also have the chance to sell directly to the attendants.

By hosting this annual event in the autumn, our city once again becomes the emblematic representative of flamenco as a universal art form, a culture which has recently experienced a renewed splendour.