Jerez Festival and Sanlucar De Barrameda, Spain: Alegria

6 Mar

There are not enough minutes in the day to do and see everything available in Jerez and still keep body and soul together so this is published later than I planned. It’s like Seville on speed. Wake-shower-eat-practice-chores-shower-eat-siesta-class-bath-wash-check bata for tears and mend-eat-drink-performance-drink-performance-sleep. Repeat. Seven days of Alegrias con bata de cola flashed by. I became very attached to my rented skirt once I had wrestled it into submission and was loathe to give it back.

I’ll be seeking out more opportunities to study with Alicia Marquez at her academy in Seville. She has such an elegant style and humourous teaching manner. Alicia is the tall, gorgeous one in the photo below. We’d just been presented with our certificates of attendance at the final class.

The photo of the couple is our singer, Anabel Rosado and guitarist, Jozdi Flores Albazzan. The gentleman with me, S. Juan Luis Canca, rents me my practice studio.

Many of the performances have been astonishing (see details on the ‘Flamenco’ page). Dance highlights of the first week for me were Karime Amaya, Israel Galvan and Mercedes Ruiz while the VSOR cante jondo show was chaotic but wonderful too. The peñas have been difficult to enjoy as they have been far too overcrowded and some poorly organised.

Protests by government workers built up to a mass march on Thursday with around 5,000 demonstrators walking the main streets of Jerez for two hours making as much noise as they could including firecrackers like shotgun blasts. Whole families joined in waving the flags of their various unions and political parties.

Saturday is changeover day for the Festival. Week one attendees leave and week two arrive so there are no Festival classes. I used the time off to catch the bus (3.20 euro return) to the seaside town of Sanlucar de Barrameda. It’s famous for August horse races on Sanlucar’s wide beach, fresh seafood, sherry, and also features in a number of flamenco songs.

On a Saturday the town centre buzzes with shoppers and families strolling and socialising. A fantastically dressed wedding party were having drinks in one of the plazas as I walked by and when I asked if I could photograph a woman wearing the traditional mantilla headdress she leapt out of her chair to pose.

The old market has masses of fresh fish stalls, as well as butchers selling bull meat from the previous week’s bull fight. Little old ladies sell snails, wild asparagus and herbs in the alleys and you can buy a kilo of small clams for a few euro.

I settled for gazpacho, grilled vegetables and cold beer.

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5 Responses to “Jerez Festival and Sanlucar De Barrameda, Spain: Alegria”

  1. Irene Koh March 7, 2012 at 12:28 am #

    The descriptions are so vibrant I feel like I am there. Thank you for sharing. Could make a good book!!

    • Sharon Tickle March 7, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

      Thanks for reading Irene. I hope Spain is on your future travel itinerary! Sxx

    • Sharon Tickle March 8, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

      You will have a super time in those places Sue. In Seville be sure to get tickets to the flamenco show in Casa De La Memoria and queue at least 30 minutes before show time to get a front row seat. All the artists there are wonderful. If it’s a Tuesday or Thursday night you can see good flamenco for free/price of a drink at T de Triana, Calle Betis in Triana. Starts around 10:30pm. We have a little holiday from this holiday planned next week ;-)) Love to James, S & S xx

      • Sue Elliott March 9, 2012 at 8:40 am #

        Good Morning Sharon
        Thank you for the info on the flemenco in Seville. We will certainly try to see some. We are staying at Osuna – about an hour by train as we were a little nervous about driving around Seville. !! – can’t think why as we have survived parts of Rome and cities in France.!!
        Have you been to Cordoba? – any tips. ?
        I’m sorry we are not able to meet you both whilst we are in Spain.Catharine and William left yesterday for Almeria.
        James is well and really enjoying working with Justin – retirement did not suit him. He is looking forward to a break.
        Love to you both
        Sue xx

  2. Sue Elliott March 8, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    Hello Sharon
    I have just been reading your blog. It sounds like you have had a fantastic time and have enjoyed your flemenco lessons and have become totally hooked. !
    The photos are really interesting and help to convey a real flavour of Spain.
    We are looking forward to our holiday next week. I am embarassed to say that we have never been to Spain and we are hoping to see as much as possible in the week that we are there.
    We are visiting Ronda, Arcos de la Frontera, Seville, Cordoba and Granada. We have booked the tickets for the Alhambra.
    I’m not sure what your itinerary is after the 10th but hope you continue to enjoy your ” gap year”.
    Sue

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