Sept. 3 to Sept. 5 2010. Plaza De Agustin Lara and Plaza de la Corrala (Google Maps is not clear on either one of them: please type in Calle Meson de Paredes 66 instead)
The summer of 2010 is far from over. The first Muestra y Exposición Internacional Flamenca (MEIF) is being held this weekend in Lavapiés and provides for yet another series of sultry nights, both for Flamenco lovers and newbies.
Castañuelas, dresses and guitars, shoes and cajones are all there for sale or just for admiration. In case that sounds a bit too tacky, please note that only the best brands are represented: dancing shoes from Menkes and Gallardo, cajones from Mario Cortés (photo), guitars from Giralda and dresses from Guadalupe. It just does not get any more flamenco than that.
At night the main stage is used for music and dance, but also for workshops with castañuelas, cajones and guitars. Again, no tourist trap thingies but just how flamenco should be. Keep enjoying the summer.
It’s the end of a hard week and you are desperate to understand some more of the illustrious past of your favorite city. You are contemplating Madrid’s history, asking yourself questions about the social changes after Franco’s death and trying to get a hold on the movements that shaped the more recent past of this fascinating metropolis. Want to do some interesting field work? Go to Sala El Sol, dance until the sun comes up and learn.
Sala El Sol does not look very disco-like: a bit too pink, a bit too bright, no special light effects, a worn carpet on the floor and the music isn’t so loud that you can’t communicate with your dance partner. It’s actually, well, a bit ugly, you might say. Perhaps, but your opinion will change if you know that this club started in 1979 and was one of the places to be during the Movida: the explosion of nightlife culture –the city’s current habit of staying up at night is nothing compared to the good old days- that took off once the petty dictator was reunited with his creator. The place has not changed since, hence the outdated, but charming, interior. Pure Madrileño history.
The music is not the same, though. You won’t find the likes of Alaska or any other late seventies group anymore, but instead your legs will not be able to resist moving to the beats of more alternative and relatively mellow electronic music. The DJ’s go to great lengths to offer you a groovy yet very accessible mix of samples. On the dance floor you will be joined by a slightly alternative and fashionable crowd. Make sure to get there between 2:00 and 3:00 in the morning: at 4:00 Sala El Sol will be packed.
Learning can be a whole lotta fun.
Sala El Sol
Calle de los Jardines 3
Metro Sol/Gran Via
First published on www.MAPmagazine.com, autumn 2007