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May 26, 2022 4:13 am

Michael Novakhov - SharedNewsLinks℠

‘It’s impossible’: Spain’s flamenco bars face an existential threat

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‘It’s impossible’: Spain’s flamenco bars face an existential threat

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Plummeting audience numbers fuel calls for government assistance as famed tablaos struggle to survive

A little after 7.30pm on Wednesday night, a small crowd gathered in a dark, brick-lined bar in central Madrid to sit at candlelit, socially-distanced tables and lose themselves for an hour in the sweat, shouts and blurred hands, hems and heels of a flamenco show.

The 16 people in the audience at the Cardamomo tablao, or flamenco venue, were in luck – but then so were the eight performers on stage. Neither flamenco’s iconic place in Spanish culture nor its global status as part of Unesco’s list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity has spared it the pains and penalties of the Covid pandemic.

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