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Robert Abrams
Adventures Abroad
Paso Doble
Madrid, OT (Spain)

Concluding thoughts on Dance in Spain

by Robert Abrams
September 21, 2004
Madrid, OT (Spain)

Concluding thoughts on Dance in Spain

Robert Abrams
September 21, 2004

I found nearly everyone in Spain very hospitable. The food was good or better, usually better. The coffee was great (much better than the dishwater that often passes for coffee in the US, although Italians complain that Spanish coffee isn't strong enough).

While there is plenty of great dance in Spain, in both native and imported forms, Paso Doble was surprisingly difficult to find. According to some knowledgeable people I met at a conference in Pamplona, Paso Doble today is mostly played at the start of bull fights, and the only people who dance it are over 60. I figure if I learn some Spanish and arrange some dance lessons in Madrid, I will have more luck next time I go there.

If I do dance Paso Doble, though, I will have to eventually confront the issue of bull fights. Paso Doble, and Flamenco for that matter, is based in large measure on the movement and posture forms found in bull fights. I don't feel like I can pass judgement on bull fights one way or the other since I don't know enough about them. While there is much to argue about (by Spaniards as well as visitors), it is beyond argument that the Spanish dance forms inspired by bull fights have strength, power and beauty. Some of this beauty might be lost if the dance and its source were sanitized or had never been.

Whether you are a fully obsessed Flamenco and Paso Doble-seeking dancer or not, Spain is worth an extended visit.

Sign featuring NYC skyline on Madrid side street
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams

Fountain near the Prado Museum in Madrid (plenty of beautiful paintings by El Greco and others, but no Paso Doble)
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams

More Adventures in Madrid

Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams

  • Show me this Paso Doble - looking for dance in Madrid - 9/10/2004 - by Robert Abrams.

  • Flamenco at Torres Bermejas - 9/10/2004 - by Robert Abrams. - Article sponsored by Air France.

  • Melonera Festival 2004 - 9/11/2004 - by Robert Abrams.

  • Salsa at El Son in Madrid - 9/11/2004 - by Robert Abrams. - Article sponsored by LaDuca Shoes.

  • Sara Baras' Ballet Flamenco in Sueños (Dreams) - 9/12/2004 - by Robert Abrams. - Article sponsored by Danskin.

  • Concluding thoughts on Dance in Spain - 9/21/2004 - by Robert Abrams.

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