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The Scene talks to flamenco superstar Joaquin Cortes about Madrid's cultural resurgence.
The Scene: What do you like about Madrid?
Joaquin Cortes: The soul of Madrid has always been its nightlife and its energy. I think it's a special city, a great capital. It's very cosmopolitan; today there is a lot of fusion, lots of different people, lots of different races, a mixture of cultures. Any tourist who comes here is never going to get bored, because there is a lot of stuff to do. There's lots to talk about here, there's lots of history. We're talking about the old Europe, in which Spain figured very centrally. And then we have so much culture, fashion, cinema, theatre... I think Madrid is at its peak and we have to make the most of it.
TS: What are your favorite places in Madrid?
JC: It's a very big city, so I have lots of favorite places. I like the museums; I think we have one of the most important museums in the world, El Prado. We also have the Reina Sofia, with modern art and that's very popular; the Thyssen, which is also fantastic. I think that Madrid has incredible museums and an incredible history. I like anything to do with art; obviously I like dance, theatre, music, I love music. There is so much movement and energy. Madrid is resurging; there are so many people on the streets wanting to do things. We're going back to the "golden age" of the 80s when everybody wanted to do new things and change their daily lives. I think it's a great time to be here in Madrid.
TS: How does Madrid inspire you?
JC: I think Madrid inspired me a lot more to start with, because I used to travel less and so I got my inspiration from Madrid, it's normal. The first story I created was always related to my music, my Gypsy music. My base was Madrid and so it was that culture that inspired me. Then, as the years passed, I've had the good fortune of being able to travel more and I started getting inspiration from the life I was living; my experiences, what you know ... you're like a sponge that soaks up stuff in order to create something.