On This Issue:
Feature: The Bata de Cola
Valentine’s – Spanish Love phrases and Print out Card
Meanwhile in Spain: Filomena, the Spanish snow storm
Coming up in March: Spanish Easter “French Toast” and the “saeta” 

Dear flamenco friends,

We wish you a Happy Valentines and a Happy Family Day this weekend.  In order to follow Dr. Strang’s recommendations and help our COVID numbers continue to fall, we have sadly decided to cancel our Valentine’s performance plans.  

We are sharing a few Valentine’s Day messages to continue to share Spanish culture with our audience. We will miss you as we plan and wait for a chance to gather again. 

Maria Osende and the board of directors of Atlantic Flamenco Productions Society

The Bata de Cola

The image of a flamenco dancer elongated by the Bata de Cola (dress with a tail) has become one of the most emblematic images of flamenco dance. These skirts or dresses have a train featuring many ruffles at the bottom and more on the underside. It is a dramatic garment and requires strength and skill for the dancer to move it effectively, 

The bata de cola was an adaptation of the French fashion in the 19th centre. Women carried the skirt with the long train, picked up to one side and then let it go when they reached a clean area. The picking up and lowering it again is one of the first movements that became incorporated into flamenco dance, although at the time they were more like the one in the picture, an original dress, and they were not nearly as long, heavy and elaborate as they are today

The first record of batas de colas appearing on stage was in the beginning of the 20th century. They were a lot shorter and much less elaborate than they are today.  Gradually the bata de cola became longer anymore elaborate. 

Today, the bata de cola continues to evolve and so does the technique to use it.  It is used both in traditional and contemporary flamenco dance contexts.

Dancers Belen Maya and Manuel Liñan performing with bata de cola. Although it was traditionally a female-only costume. Dancers such as Manuel Liñan have introduced it as a masculine asset as you can see in these picture.
Dancers Belen Maya and Manuel Liñan performing with bata de cola. Although it was traditionally a female-only costume. Dancers such as Manuel Liñan have introduced it as a masculine asset as you can see in these picture.

Construction of a bata de cola 

The  construction of a bata de cola starts with the basic elongated skirt .  As a general rule ,the length of the bata, from waist to the tip, would be the dancer’s height. The ruffles are sewn on to the bottom third of the skirt.. It takes a great deal of fabric for a bata de cola;  at least 10 m and the fabric must have enough body so that the ruffles don’t pull it down. Usually it is made from a woven fabric like a poplin, but it can also be made from a knit fabric if it isn’t too stretchy. They are usually lined.  

Photo © Jon James Photography. Maria Osende in a red bata de cola with 12 rows of ruffles last fall performing “Dance as If Nobody Is Watching” along Daniel MacNei and Joyce Saunders.


The ruffles on the outside can be made of the same type and colour fabric as the skirt, or they can be different.  They are usually a series of split circular ruffles, all sewn together with the edges hemmed or finished with bias tape to make them stand out more. The front starts with 3 ruffles and five or more in the back, following the line of the train .  At,the very bottom of the skirt, along the edge,   is a cord inside the hem. It helps the bata land properly after being  lifted into the air.

Spanish / English Love Phrases

Amame cuando menos lo merezca,
porque será cuando más lo necesite.

Love me when I least deserve it
because it will be when I need it the most.
Amar es encontrar en la felicidad de otro la propia felicidad.     
Loving is finding someone else’s happiness our own.
No importa que la distancia nos separe,
siempre habrá un mismo cielo que nos una.
It doesn’t matter that we are separated by distance,
there will always be the same sky to unite us.
Mi vida es mía, mi corazón es tuyo.
Esta sonrisa es mía, pero la razón eres tú.

This life is mine, but this heart is yours.
This smile is mine, but the reason is you.
Please use them to make your own Valentine’s Day cards, or download cards to print out from this link: https://spanishmama.com/spanish-valentines-day-cards/
The military cleared the path to Madrid’s hospital with metal shovels.

Snowstorm “Filomena” in Spain

On the weekend of January 15, 2021 Spain experienced a major storm, it has been named “Filomena”. This snow storm blanketed Spain with exceptional amounts of snow.

With over 50cm (20”) of snow, Madrid had its highest 24 hour snowfall in 50 years. Airports and roads were closed. Train travel was suspended and only the subway continued to operate. As many as 1,500 people were trapped in their cars and more than 6,000 customers were without power . The storm was followed by a cold front that caused the snow to freeze and stay for nearly a week. Hospitals were overrun, due to the number of people with bone fractures, counting 1,200 on the following Monday alone .

Coming up

Sunday March 28, 2pm AST

Register here

Torrijas, alabanzas y saetas

Spanish Toast and Flamenco Easter Songs

A different and fun way to learn about flamenco and its traditions surrounding Semana Santa (Easter week).

What is a Saeta?  Or an Alabanza Flamenca?
Learn the answers to these questions and more, all while Flamenco singer Caridad Vega unites us to her kitchen in Andalusia to prepare delicious torrijas de vino (Spanish style French Toast with white wine) and sing for us. This recipe is a typical Andalusian dish served during this special week.
Class is in Spanish with English translation from Maria. Details coming very soon!