The Grassington festival achieved a new first last night as rapturous applause finished off a night of Andalucían revelry at a fringe event at Cracoe Village Hall.
The night was a cabaret style evening of tapas and Flamenco skilfully arranged by the Angel Inn at Hetton. The entertainment was provided by Flamenco Pasión’ headed up by Sandra La Espuelita. Flamenco Pasión is a UK Flamenco dance company which at its fingertips has access to some of the UK’s finest Flamenco dancers, singers and guitarists. As well as being a dancer of exceptional talent and passion, Sandra is also an inspirational teacher, she appeared on BBC TV’s “Strictly Come Dancing” to instruct Yorkshire’s very own Darren Gough in flamenco dancing the year he went on to win.
Cracoe village hall looked more like Cordoba town hall in mid Fiesta with Spanish flags draped around the walls and tables. Three electric performances from Sandra and Verena Merichelli accompanied by Ramón Contreras on guitar, combined solos with informative and anecdotally amusing flamenco and personal histories to great appeal. The performances were staggered allowing the Angel team to provide guests with an authentic culinary accompaniment washed down with plenty of Rioja! A final set involved an enthusiast audience participation resulting in a wave of praise and applause.
“We’ve been patron’s of the Grassington Festival for many years and this was one of the best events that we’ve been to! said Peter and Shirley Proctor.
Thomas Wellock who with his wife Hilda look after the village hall said that he had ‘never seen anything like it in all his life!’
The evening was a fantastic success and Pascal Watkins, whose idea it was said, “It was like a dream come true for me, I was extremely proud that Amelia Vyvyan the Festival director rang me personally to congratulate us.”
“We propose that pubs and Hotels etc around Grassington take on a country and offer the food and entertainment of that country during the festival, then Grassington Festival becomes not only an arts festival but a culture festival.”
The idea was part of a two week Spanish Festival at the Angel which has featured a Rioja producer dinner, authentic Tapas menus and by design has been running alongside the festival.