Neither flash or dance

I spotted a tweet this morning that said that a Flamenco flashmob dancing would take place in Valencia’s Plaza del Virgen at 11.30, which I assumed to be a.m. and not p.m. As far as I was aware, these are supposed to be spontaneous and unpublicised, at least as far as the public is concerned, although, like the opera one that was held in the Mercado Central a few months ago, they take a pretty lot of organising by the flashers and mobbers. But as the tweet came from the hubby of a professional Flamenco dancer and teacher, I assumed he would be in the know, and was simply offering a word to the wise, tipping the wink, as it were. Which supported the old English saying, ‘assume made an ass out of u and me’ – although it makes a lot more sense when said aloud.

So off I went in plenty of time to weigh up the lay of the land and try to find a good spot for a bit of Flamenco flashing. I saw a couple of Valencia’s finest Policia Local wandering around, and under the assumption (there we go again) that even if it the flashing was meant to be a surprise, the organisers would have let on to the police that there was something going on. But they hadn’t, so when the police chappie took out his list of events to happen in the Plaza on that fine morning it didn’t include a load of Flamencoists clapping their hands and stomping their feet. In fact, all that was on his list for this a.m. was that someone was supposed to be erecting a haima at eleven for a presentation for the city of Elche, but as it was well gone the time by then, and there was no sign of a big Arab tent, it looked as though that might be something else that might not be happening.

By 11.15 the Plaza was virtually empty, other than the criss-crossing of guided tour groups from some cruise ships berthed a couple of miles away, passing like trains at Crewe Central Station, careful not to bump into a tour from the competition.

At 11.25 even the tour groups had gone, and I had the feeling that the flashers would be Flamencoing all to themselves, apart from a group of six, dressed-to-the-nines, having a quick drag while waiting for a wedding party, and a small group of people feeding the pigeons.

Eleven-thirty came and went with nothing to show for it, but this being Spain I naturally assumed that it would start late, so I gave it a few minutes. Eleven-thirty-five came and went with not a trace of a clap, and I was hoping that someone from the tour group who were at that moment sauntering from Calle de los Caramelos would suddenly give us a twirl, or that the pretty, blond police lady might throw off her cap, let down her golden locks, and give us a bit of heel clacking. Nada.

Eleven-forty came, and I went, reflecting on the fact that the very reason I’d left Jerez de la Frontera after only five months of residence was that I couldn’t stand the bloody Flamenco caterwauling I was subjected to day-in-day-out, so why the hell had I come looking for it!

If you would like to know more about Spain, visit my web site, Derek Workman, and Spain Uncovered. Articles and books can also be found at Digital Paparazzi.


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