The Flamenco Dance Museum, the dream of Cristina Hoyos
The Flamenco Dance Museum is located right in the heart of the authentic Seville, where the streets are steeped in flamenco history and the white façades are bedecked with flowers. In 2006, flamenco dancer Cristina Hoyos opened the museum after refurbishing a beautiful eighteenth century town house which can be found halfway between the Plaza de la Alfalfa and the Cathedral, amid the labyrinth of narrow winding streets that form the Santa Cruz neighbourhood. After the museum closes its doors for the day, its distinctive Ecija-style courtyard becomes a stage where flamenco shows are performed by professionals who specialise in an art that is inevitably entwined with Seville and the city’s own local history.
Spaces at the Flamenco Dance Museum
Seville is one of the main cradles of the art of flamenco and it makes perfect sense for the Flamenco Dance Museum to have been established here. This private institution has filled the town house for almost 15 years and each of the building’s four floors focuses on a different aspect with a variety of activities:
- The ground floor mainly consists of the Flamenco Courtyard where flamenco shows are performed each evening. The dance hall, shop and visitor access are also located here.
- The first floor is home to an interactive exhibition about the history and styles of flamenco dance and the spectacular costumes worn to perform it, as seen through lives of some its most famous figures. These include Cristina Hoyos herself, Carmen Amaya, Antonio Gades, Sara Baras, El Güito, among others. This innovative space truly succeeds in immersing the visitor in the world of flamenco.
- Temporary exhibitions are displayed on the second floor and relate flamenco to the fine arts, exhibiting pieces by both Spanish and international artists. This space is valued for its open approach, welcoming works by any type of artist who uses his or her work to examine the many sides to flamenco and the deep emotions it stirs up. Artists such as Kay Woo (South Korea), Oscar Balducci (Argentina), Maggie Wen (China), Mauro di Girolamo (Italy), Ana Sojor (Germany), Miguel Alcalá and Eddie Pons (France) have been exhibited here, among many others.
- The basement is home to the historic vault of the Flamenco Dance Museum. A unique space with Pre-Roman and Roman structures, it is thought to have been a temple in ancient times; today it is used for VIP shows, private events, exhibitions, dance classes, etc.
A combined Museum+Flamenco Courtyard ticket offers you the chance to discover and enjoy the various palos or flamenco styles, because each evening artists who specialise in these different styles appear on the courtyard stage. This is a world away from the shows aimed at tourists organised by many of Seville’s tablaos (flamenco venues), which are sometimes distinctly unprofessional.
Cristina Hoyos, the inspiration for the museum
The Flamenco Dance Museum has more than just a founder in Cristina Hoyos. As a dancer, she has helped to define the flamenco dance scene in Spain for decades and for many years was the artistic partner to the brilliant Antonio Gades. She long envisaged creating a space just like this one and in 2006 her dream came true. The museum was opened with the intention that it would become a meeting point for people passionate about flamenco dance. Cristina Hoyos also hoped it would be a reference point for visitors to Seville who wanted to see high quality shows. A place where they could discover and appreciate the physical effort and dedication of flamenco artists.
As can be seen, what has been created here has exceeded all expectations. Today, the Flamenco Dance Museum of Seville is an essential stop for visitors who are keen to immerse themselves in one of the most important and distinctive attributes of Seville and Andalusia. It is also a vital space for both artists and professionals who make their living from this art and those studying it as enthusiasts. This is thanks to a busy activities calendar that, throughout the year, attracts the most acclaimed figures in the flamenco world to within the museum’s walls.
The School of Flamenco Dance
The School is a hugely important part of the activities programme organised by the Flamenco Dance Museum. It aims to train students to achieve artistic growth and to develop their stage presence within the current parameters of flamenco. The dance classes are taught by many of the professional dancers in Cristina Hoyos’ own ballet company.
In addition to dance, the school also teaches guitar, singing, percussion, rhythm and beat, clapping and other specific courses. Classes are tailored to students’ different levels, from complete beginners to true professionals seeking to perfect their style or posture.
Running alongside the school’s activities, the museum also programmes numerous events, such as temporary exhibitions, chats, conferences, round tables and meetings between flamenco professionals, and film screenings of works related to this art. Business meetings, press conferences and even lunches and dinners have also been held here.
Some famous visitors
Throughout its almost 15-year history, the Flamenco Dance Museum of Seville has seen plenty of Spanish and international celebrities pass through its doors and appear on its stage. These include Prince Naruhito, the Duchess of Cornwall (wife of Charles, Prince of Wales) and Gloria Macapagal, the former president of the Philippines. Actors Nick Nolte, Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart have also visited, among many others.
Information of interest
- The Flamenco Dance Museum opens Monday to Sunday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Show times depend on the programme
- Museum: adults – €10
- Museum+Flamenco Courtyard Show: adults – €26; children (6-12 years) – €15; students and senior citizens – €19
How to arrive
- By bus: route C5
- By tram: T1 (Plaza Nueva stop)