My sweet friend Meghan asked me if I wanted to go see a “modern day” flamenco spectacular with her one Saturday. Love how they say “spectacular” for “show”. It was a bizarrely wintery day for May and I stood there under my umbrella waiting for her, blowing out my breath like smoke. I probably looked like a cray cray. But I’m from Texas. (I use this excuse for everything, even if it doesn’t make sense.) We traipsed to Sala Triangulo – a tiny, nondescript performance theater on some backstreets near the Lavapiés Metro. No tourists.
The story and dancing were so powerful I found myself rigid in my seat the entire time. This wasn’t your typical flamenco show. Instead, the story covered how we are all born into a world of expected conformity, and our destiny is based on the choices we make as individuals – whether we choose to not question anything and conform, or break free and create our own path. Knots formed in my back as I watched. I could so clearly feel the raw emotion as if it was my own. Wow. Wow. Wow.
After the spectacular, we headed to the Jardines de Sabatini, next to the Royal Palace. I swear Spain is having a bank holiday or festival every other week. This country finds any excuse to drink. We get along well, Madrid and I. That weekend was the festival of San Isidro – the patron saint of Madrid. Catholicism is all but dead here but damnit! we will celebrate the holidays with vigor. As you were.
There was a huge concert next to the royal palace, and they had brought in a dance floor for everyone so the ladies wouldn’t get their heels stuck in the grass. Don’t worry – I was in flats.
It was so 1950’s Hollywood. There was a full band, all the men in white tuxes, the ladies in ball gowns and elbow length gloves. I felt so glamorous – even in my jeans. Here I was, midnight in Spain, dancing with hundreds of Madrilenos under a full moon that made the royal palace glow alabaster as it loomed over us. Sometimes I can’t believe this is my life.
The concert ended and I dragged Meghan to La Negra Tomasa in Sol for salsa dancing. I had done plenty of research, and this venue promised to be truly Cuban. My favorite. But we get there and it’s a 10 Euro cover. For a restaurant!?
I kick at the ground and sulk, until Meggy drags me into an Irish Pub for some cider. And the madness that ensued from there never would have taken place had we been dancing all night. The ONLY time in my life where dancing wasn’t the better option…