The one question we receive more than any other to our website is "Where can I see an authentic flamenco show in Barcelona?". The word "authentic" in this sense implies a quality performance that is a genuine representation of the art of flamenco, rooted in history of Andalusia. As you will discover Tablao Cordobés meets all these criteria.
|Susana Casas on stage at Tablao Flamenco Cordobés performing with traditional costume and shawl.|
All of our photos on this page were taken with the permission of Tablao de Cordobés during our recent visit.
Tablao Cordobés has been giving flamenco performances since 1970 and has developed a solid reputation world wide for flamenco. If you consider that Barcelona tourism really only took off after the Olympics in 1992 this shows that the motive behind this venue was for giving flamenco performances and not catering for the tourist trade. Having said this, the Tablao is popular with visitors and locals due to its reputation for giving high quality performances.
In speaking with the people at Tablao Cordobés I felt inspired by their passion for flamenco music, culture and history. It is clear that performing flamenco is not just about a show, it is an integral part of their lives, a form of cultural family connection between performers. They also shared some of the history of the Tablao with me which I found fascinating. Tablao Cordobés has relationships with famous flamenco performers from around the world. One such example is the close relationship they have with the Carmen Amaya family. Carmen Amaya has become a legend in the world of flamenco and today Carmen Amaya's grand daughter Karime Amaya gives performances for Tablao Cordobés.
This page will give you an insight into the mysterious world of flamenco. You will discover what a flamenco show is all about and the influences behind this art form. We go into detail on the correct etiquette for attendees of a flamenco show and give you an overview to the flamenco show evening at Tablao Flamenco Cordobés at their venue on the famous La Ramblas Boulevard. At the end of this page you'll find details necessary to book this flamenco evening performance at Tablao Cordobés.
Flamenco History of Tablao Cordobés
Tablao Cordobés opened its doors in 1970 and the owner named the venue after the famous Spanish bullfighter, El Cordobés.
Since the XIX century Las Ramblas and Paral.lel have been places where the theatres, show halls and night clubs were traditionally situated. In 1970, keeping in this tradition, the famous show biz entrepreneur, Matías Colsada, opened Tablao Cordobés for the first time on Las Ramblas and appointed Luis Adame and his wife Irene Alba managers of the establishment. They brought the most important flamenco artists to the stage of tablao: Camarón de la Isla, Fernanda y Bernarda, Chocolate, Farruco, and others.
For years, this family of flamenco artists have been owners of Tablao Cordobés and have turned it into one of the most important flamenco establishments in the world for the quality of their artists and the direction of their shows.
Many famous flamenco artists began their careers in Tablao Cordobés such as Miguel Poveda or Montse Cortés and many important flamenco artists have performed on the Cordobés stage such as Eva la Yerbabuena, Belén Maya, Israel Galván.
These days the authentic flamenco tradition is kept alive by Maria Rosa Pérez, Luis Adame’s daughter and flamenco dancer.
Learning to perform flamenco
Although many of the dancers start out by attending performing arts or dance school new artists at Tablao Cordobés can only perform flamenco after dedicated practise at the Tablao itself. The art form is developed through guidance from the other experienced performers. Authentic flamenco, according to El Tablao Cordobés, cannot be learnt only from a school.
The origins of flamenco
Flamenco is a traditional musical performance which was born in Andalusia. It is developed through the mix of several different cultures: Arabian, Jewish, Christian, along with the essential contribution by Gipsies.
Catalonia has deep flamenco roots because it is traditionally home to migrants from Andalusia, Extremadura and Murcia.
Nowadays, there are many important Catalan flamenco artists such as: Miguel Poveda, Montse Cortés, Chicuelo, Jose Luis Montón, Maite Martín, Jesús Carmona, Belén López, etc. All of them perform from time to time in Tablao Cordobés.
For more details on the artists (dancers and musicians) see our page on Tablao Cordobés performers.
What are the singers singing about and what does it mean?
Flamenco performances are improvised and based loosely around traditional poems, songs, dances and rhythms. This is why it is so important that the audience keep quiet during a performance as it can disturb the improvisation of the performers.
The lyrics to the songs are often based on short cultural popular poems, often anonymously written.
There are different styles and tempos depending on the mood that the performers wish to express. Siguiriya or soleá are dramatic forms of expression where as alegrías are more charming and upbeat with a festive feel to them.
The themes to the songs and chants express many aspects of daily life, separation from loved ones, love for fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters.
Flamenco is about expressing honest raw emotion, in an artistic way using movement, music, rhythm, song, sounds, chants, and improvisation.
When attending a performance it is best not to ask what the performance is about or what the performers are trying to say. It is more about opening yourself to the performance. This involves letting go of the need to understand and just feel the emotion that the performers are transmitting. In this way you will experience what flamenco is all about -connecting by the giving and receiving of pure emotion.
The flamenco show evening at Tablao Cordobés
A flamenco show at Tablao Cordobés typically lasts for 1 hour and 10 minutes with an additional 1.5 hours if you choose the evening meal option. I would recommend going for the evening meal option because the food is excellent and enhances the atmosphere of the evening.
|One of the dining areas in the style of the famous Alhambra.|
At Tablao Cordobés the meal is served in two separate dining rooms which are decorated in the style of the famous Alhambra in Granada. In fact the actual stonework used at Tablao Cordobés was derived from the same location as that used to build the Alhambra. Tablao Cordobés also had the same craftsmen involved in maintaining the Alhambra stonework to create the stonework carvings at Tablao Cordobés. You will notice the exquisite details of the carved stonework is exactly the same as that at the Alhambra. It is worth visiting to see the dining room stonework alone. The dining area with its beautiful carved stonework sets the atmosphere of the evening and for the music and dance to come.
I recently visited Tablao Cordobés to find out how the food was prepared and served. The food is prepared only from fresh ingredients - no frozen goods are used.
|A few dishes on offer at Tablao Cordobés.|
The food is served as a buffet in 2 separate rooms which you can see in the photos on this page.
|Paella - rice, saffron, fresh shellfish and lemon.|
The guests have 1.5 hours to eat and drink before the performance and during this time you are free to have as much food as you want. The dishes vary but typically you will have local tapas and small dishes prepared with fresh seasonal food. There is quite a variety of food on offer and you can be sure that there will be something to everyone's tastes.
|Arches in the style of Alhambra at Tablao Cordobés performance stage.|
After the dinner is complete you make your way to the performance room.
The best seats are reserved for those that ordered the show + dinner option. This can add to your experience as you will have a first class view of the performers.
Tablao Cordobés do not use microphones, speakers or any form of electronic amplifiers in their performances. This is to provide a purer form of sound that comes directly from the performers on stage.
One thing that may surprise you is the amount of emotion that is shared at this performance and to experience that close up is simply something you will always remember.
The flamenco show hall can feel a little crowded with the chairs close together however this is part of the traditional experience of flamenco, friends and family sitting close together to enjoy the evening's entertainment.
Tablao Cordobés can accommodate 150 people per performance.
Correct conduct and etiquette when attending a flamenco show
In order for you to have the best experience at the flamenco show it is important that the audience remain quiet during a performance (no talking or clapping or taking photos). The flamenco performers improvise their performance around the rhythm of the music and their concentration can be disturbed if there is noise coming from the audience.
If you need to visit the bathroom during the performance it is OK however if you are at the front row it may be best to stay in your seats during the show itself to avoid blocking the view for others behind you.
Photography and video is not permitted during the main part of the performance however in the last 10 minutes of the show the artists will inform the audience they can take photos and video. It is important not to use your cameras however before you are formally invited to do so by the artists.
Dress code for the evening. There is no specific dress code necessary for the evening.
Everyone is welcome to the performance however children need to be 4 years old or older to attend.
Booking your flamenco show tickets.
|Flamenco performers Susana Casas, Belén López and El Junco on stage.|
Tablao Cordobés recommend that guests book their tickets in advance because the venue is quite small and can fill up quickly. You can make you reservations online.
Flamenco ticket options and prices
Dinner + Show + Drink = €79.00
Show + Drink = €44.00
You can also purchase your tickets directly from the Tablao however note that the Tablao only accepts cash and does not accept credit cards.
How to arrive at Tablao Cordobés
Metro: The nearest metro stations are either Liceu or Drassanes. Both of these metro stations are on the green line. Tablao Cordobés is only a 5 minute walk from either of these metro stops.
Hop on hop off sightseeing tourist bus stop
Nearest stop for Tablao Cordobés is "Passeig de Colom" with the Barcelona City Tour "hop on hop off" sightseeing bus
La Rambla / Plaça del Teatre: 59, V13
Monday to Sunday.
16:30 - 17:50
18:00 - 19:15
19:30 - 21:00
21:15 - 22:30
22:30 - 23:45
Tablao Cordobés can accommodate wheelchair users. Blind persons are also permitted to bring their guide dog to the show.
Latitude: 41° 22' 44.985
Longitude: 2° 10' 29.496
We have provided a booking link below to make your reservations. Once you have made your booking print out your booking voucher. Ensure to bring this voucher along with you on the night with some form of ID e.g your passport or driving license etc.