Andalucia is of course the home of Flamenco, and while in Seville researching dance we saw both professional and amateur dancers. We watched a powerful and emotive performance at the Flamenco Museum - it was truly dramatic with breathtaking dancing and singing. The Museum housed historic costumes and memorabilia of famous flamenco artists. There was a gallery of portraits and images of flamenco; John felt that these truly expressed the 'pain' of flamenco. There were also a series of touch-screen tutorials on the meaning of different stances and movements.
There were plenty of dancers, guitarists and singers to be seen around the streets of Seville - a pleasant surprise for us as October is not the time of year to expect it (Spring being the time of the feria when all of Seville puts on a show). Some of the women we saw danced in traditional frocks, others in modern styles which managed to combine elements of flamenco with fashion.
The shops, even those well away from the centre were full of traditional flamenco dresses, and the fabric shops stocked dozens and dozens of different types of 'dotty' fabrics. Our visit to Seville happily coincided with a tourism fair promoting all the different regions of Spain - much of that was based on food but musicians and dancers were in evidence too.
But the biggest surprise for us in Seville were the Bolivians! There is a large Bolivian community in Seville, and we were lucky enough to see them celebrating a festival. First, second and third generation Bolivians brought Seville to a stand-still as they danced their way through the streets. The women, in vibrant colours, swung (very loud) rattles as they danced. The men were just as colourful but much more menacing and so was their dancing.
Bolivian women always wear a skirt (trousers are frowned on) and their hair is plaited. The men wore sinister looking gold or silver masks, although many of them were carrying theirs - obviously too hot to dance in.
We also came across a band from Peru playing their distinctive pipe music. All in all Seville proved to be a city of International Folk dance.