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 A Magical Night of Flamenco




As the ten guests walked into the pristine Casa Palacio Monasterio, it was hard to say what was about to unfold. They were told there would be flamenco and there would be food, but the night that followed was so much more than simply a meal and dance.

The main room of the palace, which was built in 1853, was lined with big arches, masterfully cut out from each of the dark red walls lined with colorful tiles, and little bursts of light came from the room’s beautiful lamps.  This set the scene for a wonderful private flamenco show featuring none other than José Galván, one of the most well-known flamenco dancers in all of Spain.

After some freshly sliced Iberian ham and a glass of wine, the show began. Of course before the flamenco dancer could take to the stage, there had to be music. Two men graced the small stage that lay just before the dinner table, one with his guitar and the other prepared to use his hands, feet and voice to serenade the group.

Together, their music filled the small room, the short-haired man strumming his guitar as effortlessly as if it were just an extension of his body, while his partner, his long hair pulled back behind his hairs, clapped and stomped out a beat, letting his voice overflow into the open, high-ceilinged room, singing a song of both love and despair, and – ultimately – triumph.

And that’s when Galván, dressed in a traditional button-down shirt and pants, paired with a white neck-scarf dotted with black spots, proudly entered the room, the sound of his heavy boots heard before his presence was seen. And just like that, he burst onto the dance floor, providing a one-of-a-kind show in one of the most intimate settings in Sevilla.

Although Galván danced to Spanish-laced songs, the translation was not lost on the guests. Flamenco has nothing to do with the words that are sung and everything to do with the emotion, the love, the despair. With his curly gray hair tucked away from his face, Galván’s complete concentration was etched within every crevice. Without understanding the words, Galván showed his audience how to feel. Each snap of his fingers and tap of his boots was done with emotion and heart – the work of a true master of flamenco.

As the one-man show continued, so did the food. The guests enjoyed a plethora of Spanish cuisine – the Iberian cured ham, a refreshing seafood salad and fresh fish that was flecked with bits of pimentón and layered with the bright flavors of Spain.

It was a night of remarkable dance, and a true treat to see a master such as José Galván before such a small audience – each and every movement he made was felt, the music wrapped itself around the tiny room and everyone’s eyes remained wide open as they watched the magic unfold right before their eyes.

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