The oldest tablao in the world in a heritage building in Madrid | Daily Flamenco Shows

Carmen Suela the daughter of the most important maitre d’ in the 50’s.

We are sitting in Tablao Flamenco 1911 (former known under another name), we have just seen the show and we meet Carmen Suela, the daughter of the most important maitre d’ that the Tablao had in the 50’s. She still remembers when she lived with her family above the tablao and the flamenco sound flooded her room. Her eyes still sparkle when she talks about this wonderful place, her dream was to be a dancer. Those unique moments in those golden years were very special.


We asked Carmen to tell us about her experience at that time and this is what she told us:


What was Tablao Flamenco 191 like at that time?

At that time, the Tablao was the best of the best. It has always been pure feeling and elegance. Elegance I mean the kind of human being and mixed feelings.

Artists came from all over the world, Ava Gardner, Ernest Hemingway, Luis Miguel Dominguín, Nino Benvenuti and many more. While “La Pantoja” was singing, ladies in divine suits, glamorous coats, gentlemen in impeccable suits, you would drool.

At that time the owners were called “Don Luis” and “El Payo” and there were meetings of all kinds of people, businessmen, people from the film world, artists, etc.. There were also dinners, people who came to have a drink, people who felt what they were listening to, what they were dancing, what they were vibrating. A pure feeling.



What changes did you notice when you saw the tablao today?

I noticed that people really like flamenco today, although some people who don’t know much about it are surprised, the dance itself has evolved a lot since then. Before, people danced more and didn’t dance so much.

I think there are people who are astonished when they see live flamenco. That is to say, they are noticing the closeness of the dancer and his feelings, the intense songs like a very heartfelt soleá, and as a whole I think people like it.

Maybe someone like me, who has some experience in the environment, I notice how the bailaora moves her arm or how she turns her foot and so on, but because I also believe that flamenco should be given the value it deserves.


Is it important to recover these places?
I think so. Fundamentally that Tablao Flamenco 1911 maintains the feeling, the elegance and the quality. A real and sincere place, that what it is offering is really authentic. In addition to giving another type of entity to this divine neighborhood and maintain the essence of the whole. If you have a belief, then fight for it, the more authentic it is, the more valuable it becomes.
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