“Pasión y Arte is one of the most dynamic flamenco companies in the U.S.”
A Brief History
Tablaos are exciting improvisational flamenco performances that take place in casual venues, much like what occurs at a jazz club or at a poetry reading. Tablaos are still staged in clubs the world over, while new generations of flamenco artists now create more formally choreographed and experimental work which are presented in major theaters and performing arts centers.
Flamenco emerged as a unique art form in the 15th century. Spanish Gypsies (or Roma) danced flamenco privately in their rural homes. The dance gradually migrated from the countryside to the cities in the south of Spain, where Gypsy artists performed on the streets and in plazas. By the 1840s, nightclubs called “Cafes del Cante” began to host flamenco Tablaos, giving flamencos the opportunity to demonstrate their extraordinary skills at improvisation movement within the confines of strict musical and rhythmic structures. The cafes were the first enterprises to pay flamenco dancers, singers, and musicians and commercial flamenco was born.
From the mid-1800s to the early 1900s, highly acclaimed flamenco artists danced in Cafes del Cante. Tablao performances helped flamenco to grow in expressive range and aesthetic precision, exposing non-Gypsy audiences to the art form. Philly Tablao recreates the feeling of the Tablao setting in carefully curated intimate venues. While contemporary Tablaos exist in many major American cities and in Spain, Japan, and elsewhere, Philadelphia, despite its vibrant Latino, flamenco and dance communities, has no Tablao if its own till now. Starting in 2015, Philly Tablao brought Philadelphia audiences such world class artists as Rosario Toledo, La Meira , Almudena Serrano, and Raquel Heredia who showcased their virtuosity at the Asian Arts’ Initiative Black Box Theater.
Anyone who is interested in Spanish culture, heritage and art is invited to mix and mingle with each other and the flamenco artists in these informal and intimate performances which will continue throughout 2016 and 2017. Whether you love Flamenco or are entirely new to its traditions, the spirited gatherings of the Tablao are a unique opportunity to learn more about and fall in love with this vibrant art form.
“Tablao Philly presents flamenco up close and beautiful.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Tablao Philly offers the richness of flamenco…”
The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Tablao Philly, a 150-minute program including three separate acts by three different performance groups, was an experience of unbridled crescendo, a night that accelerated in vigor, skill, and intensity until the end.”
“…fiery [and] emotive”
“…a night of dizzying talent and energy, the audience [was] left to savor the sweetness of voices, hands, instruments, and bodies, lent to one another in the lusty, spirited creation of something greater.”
“Throughout the evening, there seemed to be a game of tag between the music and the movement. Sometimes the music would inform the movement, or vice versa; a harmonious counterpart that ultimately brought to life these tasty morsels and left us wanting more.”