The passion and drama of live flamenco shows are back on stage in Madrid, but the performers are dancing behind plastic screens and keeping their distance from audiences.
Torres Bermejas, a flamenco show venue in Spain’s capital, reopened its Moorish-style front door to customers after spending seven months closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the first “tablao” to resume business.
Lying just off the Gran Via, one of Madrid’s main thoroughfares, the snug venue has burst back to life with its thrilling blend of “baile” (dance), “cante” (singing) and “toque” (guitar-playing.)
The venue checks customers’ body temperatures before they can enter and put a host of other precautions in place, including powerful air filters.
The goal is to lure back people who are wary of mingling in public and becoming infected.
The rectangular stage at Torres Bermejas juts out toward the tables on three sides. Most are set for two, with a candle in the middle. The nearest one is several meters (yards) away from the performers.
The hollow wooden stage is essential for dancing the “zapateado” — a rhythmic stomping that makes the platform vibrate.
The artists perform without masks, behind see-through screens that are suspended from the ceiling and raised about 1 meter (3 feet) from the floor.