When a French village becomes Spanish

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When a French village becomes Spanish

Once a year in August, my French village suddenly becomes Spanish!  It’s time for the Festival Flamenco in Gorbio.  Don’t think ‘touristy’ flamenco, this is the real thing, real gitane (gypsy) flamenco with dancers and musicians and singers from all parts of Spain and it’s fabulous!  Not easy to photograph with the fast movement, low light and also constantly changing coloured lights but every year I get a little better at it and love the challenge.    It takes place over three crazy days – we eat paella, we drink sangria, we clap and cheer and during the daytime we meet the dancers in the village bar.

This is the poster for this year’s Flamenco Festival – a little girl from the village who I photographed dancing on the stage at the end of one of last year’s performances. It was such a surprise when the Mayor chose this image of a child instead of the usual ‘lady in red’ and such a pleasure for me.  The little girl loved it too.




Above: Auriane sells tickets for food and drink and also copies of the poster



Village children dressed to dance …



Above and first image: the fablous Gloria Garcia de Castro from Seville



Above and below: El Polito from Seville and  Ana La Marquesita




Une fois par an, en août, mon village français devient soudain espagnol! C’est le temps du Festival de Flamenco à Gorbio. Ne pensez pas au flamenco «touristique», c’est le vrai flamenco, le flamenco gitan, avec danseurs, musiciens et chanteurs de toute l’Espagne et c’est fabuleux! Ce n’est pas facile de photographier à cause de mouvement rapide, de la lumière faible et aussi les éclairages colorés en constante évolution, mais chaque année, je m’améliore  et j’adore le défi. Cela se passe pendant  trois  folles soirées: nous dégustons  de la paella, nous buvons de la sangria, nous soutenons et applaudissons alors que pendant la journée nous  rencontrons les danseurs dans le bar du village.

Voici l’affiche du Festival de flamenco de cette année – une petite fille du village que j’ai photographiée ,dansant sur la scène à la fin d’ une des soirées de l’année dernière. Ce fut une telle surprise quand le maire a choisi cette photo  d’ enfant au lieu d’une traditionnelle «dame en rouge»  et un tel plaisir pour moi. La petite fille a aussi aimé!







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30 thoughts on - When a French village becomes Spanish

  • Laura September 11, 2017Reply

    It is 8am in Southern England as I view the excellent photographs that Jilly has produced, and not a dog in sight!12C, high winds and pouring rain in Southsea, as I look across the Solent to the Isle of Wight. The vibrant colours and superb photography will brighten and warm my day. Thank you Jilly.

    • Jilly September 12, 2017Reply

      Laura, thank you so much. Hope the winds drop for you! Thanks so much for kind comments. xxx

  • melinda bennett September 11, 2017Reply

    Oh Spanish dancing is just so dramatic and you have snapped it wonderfully Jilly!!!

    • Jilly September 12, 2017Reply

      So pleased you like the photos, dear Melinda x Thanks.

  • Alex September 11, 2017Reply

    Hi Jilly,

    I love your stories, I love your pictures and I even start to love the little french village.
    I truly hope to visit it in the coming years and why not, during this incredible looking Flamenco festival.

    Greetings from Belgium,

    • Jilly September 12, 2017Reply

      Hello Alex from Belgium – Thank you so much for leaving such a lovely comment. And yes why not visit Gorbio one of these fine days. It’s really worth a visit.

  • Graeme September 11, 2017Reply

    Oh wow! What more can I say? Other than ‘Perfection’!

    • Jilly September 12, 2017Reply

      Oh Graeme, you spoil me with your comments! Thank you. So good to have finally met you and Penny this year. x

  • Claude September 11, 2017Reply

    J’adore vos photos! Elles sont pleine “d’humanité”! Bravo.

    • Jilly September 12, 2017Reply

      Merci beaucoup pour votre commentaire, Claude. Tres contente que vous aimez les images et appréciez vos mots.

  • Joy September 11, 2017Reply

    Beautiful photographs! You captured this amazing dance and beautiful essence of flamenco. How fun to look forward to this every year. Bravo!

    • Jilly September 12, 2017Reply

      Joy, thanks so much. Flamenco in Gorbio is always so fabulous. Thanks x

  • J. Christina September 11, 2017Reply

    Congratulations on your photo of the little girl being selected for the poster! She’s a cutie. What a fun festival to take place in your French village of Gorbio. A village I have grown to love because of you and my visit there.

    • Jilly September 12, 2017Reply

      Thanks so much Christie. It was lovely to show you around the village see how much you loved it.

  • Doug September 11, 2017Reply

    Simply great photos Jilly. Should we ever be there that late in the year, this is a must see.

    • Jilly September 12, 2017Reply

      Thanks Doug. And yes it is indeed worth visiting. Sure you’d love it. x

  • Jamie September 11, 2017Reply

    You’ve captured this event superbly! The vitality, the energy, the passion: it’s all in your photographs. Thank you for YOUR passion and energy, too.

    • Jilly September 12, 2017Reply

      Jamie, thank you so much for your much appreciated comment. Truly. xxx

  • Petrea Burchard September 13, 2017Reply

    Your photos of this event are more wonderful every year.

    • Jilly January 19, 2018Reply

      Petrea, thanks SO much! So long since I’ve posted on this blog and am working on a new post at the moment. You put me to shame with yours. Thanks for kind words. x

  • William Kendall September 13, 2017Reply

    Wonderful and dynamic shots!

    • Jilly January 19, 2018Reply

      Thanks so much, William x

  • Peter September 19, 2017Reply

    Wonderful photographs. Great atmosphere. I always enjoy your photos and commentary.

    • Jilly January 19, 2018Reply

      Many thanks for your words, Peter.

  • Peter September 19, 2017Reply

    Great photos with loads of atmosphere.

    I always enjoy your blogs.

    • Jilly January 19, 2018Reply

      Peter, thankyou! Apologies for so long in responding – strangely a batch of comments just showed up all these months later. Really appreciate your kind words. x

  • Krista Bjorn October 1, 2017Reply

    How wonderful and inspiring! I love the image you captured. 🙂

    • Jilly January 19, 2018Reply

      Krista. Thank you so much. So happy you enjoyed the image. I always love flamenco x

  • Oakland Daily Photo December 10, 2017Reply

    Your lead photo captures a very striking pose. Kudos.

    • Jilly January 19, 2018Reply

      A very late reply – so sorry. So pleased you liked the lead photo. I was pleased too. Love photographing flamenco but with the movement and low light it’s not easy so this one was one that made me happy too! x


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