A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure to attend the Ensemble Español’s Flamenco Passion gala show in honor of the company’s 35th anniversary. What a feast to my eyes and ears! For more than two hours the company’s dancers and musicians performed with such passion and love for their art that I lost track of time and submerged myself fully into the flamenco experience. I found myself clapping, stomping, and dancing in my seat. Beautiful costumes and multimedia effects helped make this experience as memorable as when I saw a live flamenco performance for the first time. I remember having tears in my eyes on that occasion because I felt a deep connection with the spirit of this dance. At a very intuitive level, I sensed Flamenco’s origins rooted in poverty, despair and discrimination, and at the same time in a quest for survival, dignity, and joy for living. I think it is that courage to enjoy life despite adversity what attracts me the most about this dance. And that joy for living was successfully portrayed by the Ensemble during a piece called Alegrias y Jaleos (Happiness and Shouts of Joy). Here is the video for your enjoyment. And next Summer, please make sure to attend this show. It is well worth it.