Jerez de la Frontera is seen as the crib of Flamenco music, and the people living there embrace this pure and authentic art form with their everyday life. Jaleo literally translates as 'hell-raising' and is the term used for the gestures, expressions and clapping that accompanies (and can bring the audience into) the performance.


it reaches an unsustainable pause

between audience and applause

friction from creases in hands

transfer heat as the volume decreases

and soon ceases altogether

with acceptance of this moveable feast



The expression and passion of Flamenco can be seen in the face and actions of the performer. There is a depth to the emotions that are tapped into - it is a performance of great highs and lows. Flamenco enthusiasts talk about whether or not a performer has 'duende' (the idea that the performer is possessed by a spirit).  



It was late, after all the crowds of the evening had gone, as the Flamenco performance of the night had finished. But something had been released and those left could still feel it. This is the flamenco puro of those living the art, because Jerez doesn't sleep but dream.



Flamenco is not only a performance but a way of life, and rooted in the community, as people are often performing for themselves with their friends and family around them.



Sometimes Flamenco comes to you before you go looking for it. You recognise certain Flamenco performers' by their distinct tone of voice or their percussion style, which fills the street and bars. There is a timelessness to the folk storytelling that resonates with their 'found' audiences. 



In Jerez, you are never far from a guitar or someone who can bring it to life. Flamenco is sometimes found in between serving and receiving drinks at a bar. The patrons and the bartender perform together.



Sometimes a 'spectator' will simply 'feel it' and join the performance. It is a beautiful thing to witness. There are no barriers between audience and the performers - they collaborate together to produce the art, whether through an impromptu baile or a supporting jaleo.