Flamenco, Tango and Wine in One Night is a Carnaval del Sol event featuring performances by Vancouver flamenco and tango dancers on Granville Island.
If you like dance performances and want to experience some Spanish and Latin culture, this is a great event that you’ll likely really enjoy.
Flamenco and Tango Dancing in Vancouver
A popular event during Vancouver’s annual Carnaval del Sol Latin festival each year is Flamenco, Tango and Wine in One Night. In 2021 it took place on the evening of September 25th. The venue was Performance Works at 1218 Cartwright Street on Granville Island.
There were actually two Latin dance-themed events that night (as there are every year). The Flamenco & Tango Workshop took place from 5:00 until 6:30 pm. Flamenco, Tango and Wine in One Night, meanwhile, ran from 7:00 until around 9:30.
In addition to the dance workshops and performances, wine and beer are available for sale at the event.
The two dance-related events are part of Carnaval del Sol which is an annual Latin festival. To learn more about the festival and its various other events, see our article about Carnaval del Sol.
Flamenco & Tango Workshop
The Flamenco & Tango Workshop is an opportunity to learn about the techniques and history of a couple of famous dances. In 2021 it was presented by Mozaico Flamenco and Argentine Tango Lab.
Because of COVID-19 and consequent health regulations, attendees didn’t actually learn how to dance at the workshop in 2021. Everyone had to stay in their seats and wear a face mask (or at least wear one when not sipping on a wine or beer). Except for the presenters, actual dancing wasn’t permitted.
At the event in 2021 there was a presentation about flamenco dancing. This was followed by a workshop about the art and history of tango. Attendees learned about how the two dances developed as well as some of the techniques and etiquette.
Tickets to this event cost about $16.
Flamenco, Tango and Wine in One Night
Each year the dance workshop is followed by the Flamenco, Tango and Wine in One Night event. This second event features dance performances. In 2021 there were dances by the Mozaico Flamenco Dance Academy, Flamenco Rosario and Argentine Tango Lab.
This event is both fun and entertaining. The flamenco dancing is so fast, powerful and expressive! The tango dancing, meanwhile, is so sophisticated, cool, elegant and sexy!
Tickets to this event cost about $28 in 2021.
About Flamenco Dancing
Flamenco is a type of Spanish folk dance. As you’ll learn at the Flamenco & Tango Workshop, it originated in the Andalusian region of Spain with the Romani (or gypsies). It also has influences from other cultures as well, including Arabic and Indian.
Flamenco is primarily a solo dance, where people dance on their own. It features lots of clapping and foot stomping (almost like tap dancing). It also involves various arm, hand, head and other body movements.
Music for flamenco is usually provided by a singer and guitar player (and often a drummer too). The dancers clap or use castanets in their hands (which are a clapping instrument).
Men and women can both dance flamenco, although it’s perhaps more common for ladies. At Carnaval del Sol’s event, when we went, women danced and the men played the guitar and drums. A woman was also the singer.
Female flamenco dancers typically wear long Spanish dresses which they hike up from time to time while dancing. The dresses are tight-fitting at the top and layered at the bottom. Black, white, red and other bright colours are common.
Women often wear a shawl around their shoulders and a flower in their hair. High heel shoes, typically with metal on the bottom, are standard footwear. Women’s hair is usually tied back in a bun.
Flamenco costumes are beautiful and an integral part of the dance. Between the flowing bottoms of the dresses, the stomping of the shoes, and the dynamic hand, arm and other body movements, it’s quite the spectacle and thoroughly entertaining!
About Tango Dancing
As you’ll learn at the Flamenco and Tango Workshop if you attend it, tango dancing originated in Argentina. Unlike flamenco, it’s a ballroom-type partner dance.
Flamenco originated in a region of Argentina near the Uruguayan boarder. Today it’s danced around the world.
Originating in the 1880s, Tango is characterized by its intimate connection between dance partners who embrace, often dancing cheek to cheek.
With tango, between the partners, there is a leader and a follower. The dance is improvised. There is no set pattern. The dancers have to be highly attuned to one another’s movements. The result is elegant, sophisticated, glamourous and almost sexy.
Male tango dancers typically wear a suit. Women usually wear high heel shoes and elegant (almost sexy) dresses.
Trivia: As you’ll learn at the Flamenco and Tango Workshop, men don’t ask women directly if they want to dance. That’s not proper etiquette. Instead, the man and woman communicate via a series of signals from across the room including nods, looks and other coded gestures.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver International Flamenco Festival
- Granville Island
- Vancouver Festivals & Events
- Shows & Entertainment
- History & Culture in Vancouver
- What’s Happening This Weekend