And all I could say was… “hola”

Only in Seville can I leave my house and just walk into one of the most famous flamenco dancers in the world – reporting from Seville, ES

As it happens this month I am living in a lovely community of neighbours in Seville in the area of La Macarena to practice my flamenco dancing and get inspired for this blog. The place has a private patio with a lush tree in the middle.

So last week I leave the house and lock the huge wooden front door, like I do every day, to pass the street towards the flamenco dance academy that I am attending. But then suddenly I see a Spaniard walking towards me and I realise who it is. Oh my gosh, it’s Israel Galván. “Who?”, you might say. Well, only one of the most innovative and great flamenco dancers of our time.

Flamenco dancer Israel Galván in the documentary ‘Flamenco, Flamenco’ by Carlos Saura in 2010.

Flamenco avant-garde

Israel Galván made me cry during two different shows. And I usually don’t even like ‘modern’ flamenco. One of these shows was ‘La Curva’, where he was homaging flamenco dancer Vicente Escudero and the avant-garde of flamenco in the 1920ies. It seems like Israel is always taking the essence of flamenco and then transforming it into an abstract version of flamenco, really creating a new language of expression. That is art to me.

So imagine how I feel, walking towards Israel Galván in my own street. My heart begins to beat faster and my thoughts are racing in my head. Oh my god, what should I say? This is so great. I want to speak to him. Oh no wait, he doesn’t know me. Well, I did speak to him once, privately, after a show. He was actually really timid then and had a soft voice. Maybe he will remember me. No, of course he won’t remember you, loads of fans speak to him every day.

Flamenco dancer Israel Galván in his show “La Curva” during IV Dutch Flamenco Biennale 2013, leading the way for contemporary flamenco dancers. 


Walk of fame or walk of shame?

Israel is at a few meter distance from me now when I notice his broad shoulders, tanned skin and his relaxed face. A short tingly feeling crosses my belly. Ooh, he’s actually quite sexy. And so close, I could almost hug him! Oh no, he is probably married with two kids. Maybe I could ask his autograph. Or just chat with him. Now is my chance, just be brave and act normal.

At that moment I smile at him and say: “hola“. Israel looks at me, smiles politely and utters a brief “hola” sounding a bit curious as to why a random woman on the street is saying hello to him. And then… he just walks on.

Scene from ‘Sleepless in Seattle’,

Ooooh my god, was that all I could think of saying? This was like a scene from a movie. I could kick myself, but I managed to walk on smoothly as if nothing special had happened. Jeez, he must think I’m weird. Still feeling the thrill of meeting one of my flamenco idols just outside my door, I laughed at myself for secretly being such a groupie. Israel made my day and I couldn’t stop smiling whenever I thought about it. This only happens in Sevilla.

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. I feel your pain. It’s not quite the same but I saw del Nido, the ex president of Sevilla FC a few years back. I managed to get a photo of me and him outside the cathedral. He wasn’t sexy, at least not in my wife’s eyes.

    I live in Seville too and love flamenco. In fact I’ve just published a novel set in Seville with a flamenco theme. Let me know if you maybe interested and will send you the details.


    Barry O’Leary


    1. Hannet Engel says:

      Hi Barry! Haha, we’re all bound to be a groupie sometime in our lives. I already bought your e-book and am reading it right now! It’s lovely.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey Hannet,

        Great thanks so much, hope you enjoy it. Let me know how you get on.
        How long have you been in Seville?


  2. Frederik Ruijter says:

    Try nextime ‘Hello, goodbye!’ for a little more development. Lovely article and I will never forget those video!


    1. Hannet Engel says:

      Haha, I will, thanks! It will be ‘Hola’, ‘Adios’ then. Thanks Federico.


  3. Frederik Ruijter says:

    Try next time ‘Hello, goodbye!’for a little more developement. Lovely article and I’ll never forget those videos!


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