The flamenco shows in Granada are some of the most popular shows of their kind in all of Spain. This is largely due to the fact that the country's southern region, Andalucia, is where the flamenco style of song and dance originated. During the eighteenth century, the region's gitano, or gypsy, population played the most integral role in flamenco's creation.
Anyone who has seen a flamenco performance knows that they tend to be very passionate. Often accompanying the voice of a singer is a guitar, and great emotion is put into both song and dance. When it comes to the dancing, for example, a rhythmic stomping of the feet is customary to accent the mood, and the dancer is also known to use castanets. At the flamenco shows in Granada, the dancers, singers, and guitar players alike don colorful and traditional costumes, the likes of which include beautiful dresses for the women. These dresses are very similar to the frilly dresses that are commonly worn during the Seville Fair—a colorful spring fair held in Seville.
The place to go if you want to see flamenco shows in Granada is the Sacromonte neighborhood, which is found on and around a hill of the same name. This neighborhood has long been a gypsy quarter, but it is also known for its cave-dwellings, some of which are quite nicely outfitted. In the evenings, these caves play host to "zambras," or flamenco shows. Special tours can be arranged that include transportation to and from your Granada hotel. Some also include your first drink, should you be interested in having one. Along Camino del Sacromonte is where most of the flamenco caves are found.
Some Granada flamenco dancing shows are considered to be better than others, and it should be noted that many consider the overall scene to be a tourist trap, but it is still worth checking out. This certainly doesn't stop the tourists from flooding in, however, and as long as you know that you are in for a rather touristy affair, you shouldn't be disappointed. Most insiders recommend the Cueva Maria La Canastera when it comes the flamenco shows in Granada, with the Cueva La Rocio and the Venta El Gallo being two other establishments that are known to be among the best. Caves such as these are known to offer good package deals, and depending on which show you settle on, dinner might be something that can be added to the picture.
The Cueva Maria La Canastera features a small flamenco museum that is worth keeping in mind when looking for things to do in Granada. Also, those wishing to take a tour of one or more caves don't have to arrange a guided excursion. It is possible to walk up to the caves yourself, though you should be prepared to have somebody approach you at some point looking to lure you into their specific establishment.
Image: Freddie-H., CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 (flickr)