The Corral de la Morería, the oldest and most famous tablao in the world, reopens its doors this Thursday after 14 months of closure due to a pandemic. The flamenco stage is thus celebrating its 65th birthday while facing a difficult and still partial return: only in the afternoons and nights of each Saturday and at 25% of its capacity (about 30 spectators), for now.
It is the “symbolic and vindictive” reopening, but “not economically viable”, of the dance and cante hondo venue through which Ava Gardner and Marlene Dietrich, Ronald Reagn and Che Guevara, Marlon Brando and Cantinflas passed. The dancer Eduardo Guerrero, a rising star before the pandemic, will star with his company in the first performances, today and next Saturdays.
The Corral de la Morería closed on March 14, 2020, like all hotel establishments in the country. But in his case this happened for the first time since the opening of the premises on May 20, 1956.
The closure by confinement occurred “at the best moment in the history of the tablao”, which at that time hosted with great success the show Zincalí, directed by Antonio Najarro and starring El Yiyo, Inmaculada Salomón (prima ballerina of the Spanish National Ballet) and Belén López.
Prior to Zincalí, the establishment had filled many nights with Dreamlikeby Eduardo Guerrero and Camino, by Jesús Carmona, winner of last year’s National Dance Award.
The owners of the Corral, the dancer Blanca del Rey (Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts) and her children Juan Manuel and Armando, announced the reopening of the stage through a note in which they reviewed some of the landmarks of the place since its foundation. by the father of the family, who died 14 years ago, Manuel del Rey.
Those responsible for the premises boast of having launched figures such as Antonio Gades, Fosforito, Isabel Pantoja, Los del Río, Lucero Tena, Manuela Vargas, Diego el Cigala, José Mercé or Antonio Canales
“From Pastora Imperio to Blanca del Rey, Corral de la Morería has welcomed and launched figures such as Antonio Gades, La Chunga, Fosforito, María Albaicín, Isabel Pantoja, Los del Río, Lucero Tena, Serranito, Fernanda and Bernarda de Utrera, Manuela Vargas, El Güito, Mario Maya, La Paquera de Jerez, Lola Greco, Javier Barón, Diego el Cigala, José Mercé and Antonio Canales, among many others, “stated the Del Rey.
Such a cast of flamenco greats turns the tablao, they pointed out, into “the institution through which more and more outstanding artists have passed throughout the history of flamenco.”
As for the characters that have passed through the Corral, cheered on its stars and even danced with them, the gallery is full of bells. Well, from its opening until today, a visit to this temple of flamenco is as obligatory as the one everyone visits the Prado Museum. Although for example Ava Gardner was more suited to the Corral.
There Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra staged one of their fights, with a slap at the end
It was there that she and the one who baptized her as “the most beautiful animal in the world”, that is to say her third husband and immeasurable artist Frank Sinatra, staged one of their most notorious disputes. It happened behind the cirtines that separate the stage from the bar. The witnesses did not see the fight but they did hear it: “Suddenly there was a tremendous slap and the actress returned to the table crying. Sinatra left without paying and never returned,” says Juan Manuel del Rey
The protagonist of Seven Days of May, The Snows of Kilimanjaro O Mogambo he went there almost “every night.” Not like Ché Guevara, who tried to go unnoticed, or like Rock Hudson, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, who came rather to visit; as well as Reagan, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush, and Edward Kennedy. Or, more recently, Hugh Grant, Justin Biaber, Harrison Ford, Nicole Kidman or Sarah Jessica Parker.
It is also the “only show restaurant in the world with a Michelin Star”
The tablao owners also take heart from the successes of their restaurant: “the only one with a show in the world with a Michelin Star”, to which it adds the National Gastronomy Award, two Suns from the Repsol Guide and two EME from the Metropolis Guide , among other awards for culinary work. Much art is what is there.