Venta El Gallo – Granada, España

The oldest section of Granada is a Moorish settlement.  An Andalusian man plays his guitar and sings to the Alhambra before us.  Under a waxing gibbous moon, we walk over cobblestone streets and listen to Muslim prayers and chanting.

We enter a cave that has been carved into a mountain.  The walls are whitewashed.  This is Venta El Gallo.

The flamenco dance show and dinner are about to begin.  Sitting at the front of the stage, anticipation and excitement grow.  At 10:36 PM, the lights dim and music plays.

A woman in black sings with intensity.  Two guitarists and two percussionists accompany her.  The young and beautiful woman in the black dress with red polka dots performs a methodical and furious dance.  The percussionists begin to sing.  Another woman appears on stage and dances.  She wears a black skirt with multicolored polka dots.  A red-shirted, bearded man joins in the passionate dance.

Perspiration drips.  Facial expressions, arm movement and stomping feet heighten the joyful dance.  The cave walls provide outstanding acoustics for this emotionally charged dance and song.

The stage clears.

We are served delicious salad and wine.  The main course is served and it is exquisite.

The group returns with a flutist.  Dancers pull audience members on stage.  My father is picked.

The night is intoxicating.

Stephen Legaspi

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