Blood Wedding

A very long time ago, while I was living in France, my boss and her sister in law, knowing I loved dance, took me to the cinema to see Bodas de Sangre… Blood Wedding. I have to admit I was curious… back then the only Flamenco I had ever seen was the ‘traditional’ Spanish dance, and not so much of that. I left the cinema in awe. It had me on the edge of my seat. At first I had thought that final scene was slowed down… then incredulously, realised it was not. It was danced that way. In slow motion. The sheer strength and control just unbelievable.

Then, a few months later, 7th March 1982 to be exact, the same company, led by Antonio Gades, came to dance it live at the Theatre de Paris. I booked two tickets and dragged my friend Louisa along with me. That was the night I learned about passion.

My diary reads, “ …the dancers seem to draw from you every forbidden emotion, every hidden passion that has been long buried and unadmitted in the depths of the secret heart and fling it back at you, magnified, intense, raw.. until you recognise yourself, the self that has been kept locked away from civilised society.

“Brutal in its honesty, intensely passionate, unbearably beautiful, wild and savage. I have never seen anything to compare with this ballet, and with all the wonderful emotions I have felt in theatres all my life, I have never experienced anything comparable to the tension, the breathless, painful hush, created by the final scene.

“The bridegroom and lover kill each other in a knife fight. But they dance in slow motion. Not just dance slowed down.  It is a wicked, deadly savagery presented in horrific detail, excruciating both to dance and to behold, wringing every ounce of emotion from the audience.

“Never have I seen a house go so wild with enthusiasm. A minute of utter silence, then the theatre exploded with applause for more than ten minutes and countless curtain calls. There are not sufficient superlatives in this or any language to describe what I saw, felt and heard in that theatre.

“After five minutes of applauding and cheering with the rest I realised that the relief from such intensity of emotion had left me breathless and panting, tears pouring unashamedly down my cheeks. The sensations are indescribable.”


The second half of the programme allowed us to calm down a little, being classical flamenco. Even so, when we left the theatre, we felt in need of an oasis of peace, so we went to a café  next door and ordered drinks.  A few minutes later, to my unutterable delight, Gades himself, with Christina Hoyos, Juan Antonio and the rest of the cast walked in.

In spite of the physical exhaustion, there was an air about them, a pride and a fire in the way they held themselves. Yet they were happy to talk… between French, Spanish and English, we managed. It became evident that there was the usual dancer’s dedication … not a thing to be underestimated, dance demands so much. But something else too… It occurred to me even then, at the tender age of 23, that these people understood passion, and the only way to do that is to live it.

You cannot portray with conviction something you do not know intimately, with gut, heart and mind. These people were alive in a way I had seldom encountered. They were, though outwardly quiet and ‘normal’ to the casual glance, surrounded by an aura of vividness, a flame and an energy. It was as if the café burst into invisible life.

This was the first time I had met this level of flame up close and personal, so to speak. It was always dance that revealed passion to me. Classical ballet opened the doors for me as a small child and laid tinder in the hearth. Gades and his company set the fire ablaze.

Whether they fed the dance, or the dance fed them I could not have said. But that there was a relationship between the two is evident. From three decades onward I would say it was both.

There is a reaching deep within that is met and answered when you give yourself to it with commitment and passion. Talking with a friend the other day we were speaking of existence, of the way we walk through life from start to finish with a certain inevitability, and maybe dancing a little along the way. We spoke of Creation as a Dance, that dances with us, whether we choose to dance with It or not.. It simply Is.

A troupe of flamenco dancers held an entire theatre captive on the edge of their seats, in spellbound silence, night after night, with their passion. Can you imagine if we brought that passion to the great dance of life what we could achieve?

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
This entry was posted in Life, Love and Laughter, Spirituality, The Silent Eye and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Blood Wedding

  1. Indeed Sue. What if we brought that passion to our lives every day….


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