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London Duende

Posted on March 6, 2014


Carole Edrich blogs from Sadler’s Wells Flamenco Festival

When I started learning flamenco with Escuela de Baile, the monthly Peña Flamenca de Londres and a little bar in Hanway Street were the only places we could share our love of the dance.

During this year’s festival fortnight Juan Martín performs at Finchley, with Olivar Dance Company at Dulwich, both on Saturday 15, then on Sunday 16 Ilusion Flamenca offers masterclasses with Farruquito (pictured) in Covent Garden and Flamenco Express performs in Peckham. Sunday 17 sees Sam Quy celebrating Lorca at the Peña (still London’s oldest and largest flamenco club), while Escuela de Baile offers 22 classes on all aspects of flamenco.

You might think that these events are part of the festival fringe, but London’s flamenco life has become so vibrant, there’s no need for a fringe at all. Ilusion Flamenca holds regular workshops (their last was with Antonio Canales), Escuela de Baile‘s 11 weekly classes are supplemented by an Easter course with Javier Latorre and Beatriz Morales, other flamencos perform regularly and there’s a monthly flamenco night at Ronnie Scott’s.

Judging by Flamenco Festival’s increasing reach such growth is a world-wide phenomenon. At least some of the credit for this must go to its founder, Miguel Marin.

Photograph: Sophie M Hlenburg


Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, was published last year in paperback, ebook and audiobook.

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