Flamenco at Farmleigh


This afternoon I attended a flamenco concert at Farmleigh House. While the music and dance style of flamenco was appealing, I was more excited about the prospect of visiting the old Guinness family home at Farmleigh – a palatial spread for this wealthy family, that is now in use as the official guest house of the Irish state for visiting heads of state and other dignitaries.

The performers at today’s show were flamenco guitarist John Walsh (who hails from the sun drenched climes of Ballinamuck in Longford); singer Maria Delgado; dancer Carmen Cervantes, and percussionist Pepe Rodriguez.

The walk through the Phoenix Park to reach the venue, energised me. My friends were in the tea room so I bravely kept their seats in the third row – people were hungry for such prime seating, but I held my nerve.

It was a wonderful event, with the group playing, singing and dancing in great harmony. Such intensity of feeling and passion.

My only previous experiences of flamenco was the doll in the red flamenco dress in the china cabinet in my mother’s house, which she bought in Spain, before I was even born. Also about fifteen years ago in Amsterdam I went to a Spanish tapas bar one evening where a flamenco guitarist and dancer performed. That was a fun night, but not as elegant as the extravagant ballroom of Farmleigh house. My mother’s doll and the Amsterdam dancer both wore a red dress so I was momentarily discombobulated to see Carmen Cervantes wear a white dress and a green and purple dress – both very fetching

I may buy some castanets. Boys (and grown men) can dance flamenco too, right?

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