The Helsinki Flamenco Association was founded in 1993 to bring together flamenco enthusiasts and activists in and around Helsinki, as well as to promote awareness of flamenco in Finland. The Association has later attracted members also from other parts of Finland and even from Estonia. It now has some 300 active members.
The Association’s facilities, more commonly known as ‘peña’, are located in Kallio, Porvoonkatu 5. Since facilities suitable for flamenco are scarce in the city, peña’s two dance studios are in active use all day round. They can be rented for both teaching and practicing purposes. The facilities are mainly offered to members, but non-members can rent them if available – although at a higher price. Peña is also used for festivities, such as the Association’s spring and Christmas parties.
Festival Flamenco de Helsinki
The Helsinki Flamenco Festival In February 1997 the Helsinki Flamenco Association arranged the first flamenco festival in the capital. The second edition was organized two years later and, thanks to the activity and team spirit of aficionados in Helsinki, the festival then became an annual event. It has put on top performers, such as Vicente Amigo, José Antonio Rodríguez, Belén Maya, Mayte Martín, Esperanza Fernández, Rafaela Carrasco, Ángel Rojas, Carlos Rodríguez, Miguel Poveda, Chicuelo, Mercedes Ruíz, Rafael Campallo and Andrés Marín. In addition to Spanish visitors, the festival aims to present Finnish flamenco art by regularly producing new Finnish flamenco works and performances. Festival premieres have included, for example, La Kalevala in 2003 and ¡La Máscara! in 2005. Apart from the main concerts, the festival offers activities such as dance, song and guitar courses, as well as exhibitions. Members get a discount on tickets and course fees. Over the years the Helsinki Flamenco Festival has evolved into a small-scale flamenco feast of high international quality.
In addition to the Festival, the Helsinki Flamenco Association arranges other events when possible. These include club happenings, sevillanas parties, as well as dance and music courses. Members get a discount on tickets to all events.