Born into one of the few flamenco families in America, Encinias learned flamenco as a way of life from his grandmother Clarita and mother Eva Encinias. He began his first lessons in flamenco from his grandmother, Clarita, and began performing at age five. By age 12, he became a soloist in his mother’s company, Ritmo Flamenco. Encinias has had the tremendous opportunity to work closely with world-renowned artists including Antonio Canales, Eva La Yerbabuena, Los Farrucos, and Manolete, Carmen La Talegona, and Mercedes Amaya.
In 1999, he worked with director Debbie Allen in the production Soul Possessed, which premiered at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Encinias has also been a featured as a solo artist in Festival Flamenco Internacional de Albuquerque. Also, in 1999, The National Conservatory of Flamenco Arts opened under the direction of Encinias, his mother Eva, and sister Marisol. Since that time, Encinias has developed his unique teaching framework, the only codified and copy-written flamenco teaching methodology in the United States. As Artistic Director of Yjastros: The American Flamenco Repertory Company, Encinias has amassed a dance repertory collection of over 20 pieces of original flamenco choreography from some of the most influential flamenco artists in the world. Encinias’ vision for Yjastros is to preserve the beauty of traditional flamenco while imbuing it with a unique American aesthetic and energy. Through Yjastros, Encinias has been able to redefine flamenco choreography by truly understanding flamenco movement, having an innovative and visionary use of space, and demonstrating profound fluency in flamenco musical composition. Encinias has begun a new generation of artistry though his innovation and dedication to the art form. Today, he is one of the most highly sought-after flamenco artists and instructors in the nation because of his unique exposition of technique and craft. His musical talent and deep understanding of the language of flamenco make him an exceptional and valuable instructor and choreographer.
In the fall of 2010, Joaquin was instrumental in the development of Tierra Adentro: The New Mexico School of Academics; Art and Artesania. Serving grades 6 – 12, Tierra Adentro is a free public charter school whose mission is to create an inclusive, thriving learning environment comprised of a demographically and culturally diverse student population. Focused on academics, art, artesanía (artisanship), and the study of the cultures that comprise our rich New Mexican heritage, Tierra Adentro strives for awareness, preservations, and the progression of our cultural legacy.
EVA ENCINIAS SANDOVAL
Eva Encinias Sandoval is the founder and Executive Director of the National Institute of Flamenco, as well as founder and Professor of the Flamenco Dance Concentration Program at the University of New Mexico’s Department of Theatre and Dance. As a key figure in enriching the New Mexican cultural landscape, Eva has been a catalyst in introducing international fame and recognition to the art of flamenco. She was introduced to flamenco through her mother Clarita Garcia de Aranda, an American flamenco icon who was know as an outstanding performer and teacher. Eva began training with her mother at a very early age and as a result, she was provided with a foundation that prepared her for her in the art form. By the age of 14, she was giving dance lessons in her mother’s studio, demonstrating an aptitude and enthusiasm for teaching. As her ability as an artist grew, Eva furthered her education studying with prominent teachers throughout the United States, Mexico, and Spain.
By 1973 she formed her first flamenco Dance Company, Ritmo Flamenco, performing regionally for 15 years. Through Ritmo Flamenco, Eva had the opportunity to explore choreographic development and develop her skills as a performer. In1974, she enrolled at the University of New Mexico to embark upon a journey that would prove to have a dramatic effect on her as a dancer and as an educator. Eva’s experience at the University allowed her the opportunity to experience the universal world of dance and come to realize the dynamic position of flamenco in that world. Just two years after enrolling in classes at the University, Eva was asked to teach a course in the universities dance program. Since that time she has dedicated her life to the preservation and propagation of the art form through the varied programs that she has nurtured through the University of New Mexico and The National Institute of Flamenco. Today, the University of New Mexico is the only accredited educational institution that offers a Flamenco dance concentration in both the undergraduate and graduate level anywhere in the world.
Since it’s inception in 1985, the National Institute of Flamenco, under the direction of Eva Encinias Sandoval, has created many varied flamenco programs, all of which have been created to realize the mission of the institute. These programs include:
Festival Flamenco Internacional, a world-class flamenco festival that is celebrating 25 years of exceptional programming and has been awarded distinction from Spain as one of the première flamenco festivals in the world.
The National Conservatory of Flamenco Arts, a dance conservatory located in downtown Albuquerque that has a nationally and internationally recognized curriculum serving a variety of students from ages 3-70, beginner to professional.
Niños Flamencos, a youth performance company designed for youth ages 5-14 years old. The children rehearse under the direction of Eva Encinias Sandoval once a week and present an average of twenty-five free community performances for the public each year.
Alma Flamenca, a pre-professional performance company comprised of advanced students from both the University of New Mexico Department of Theatre and Dance and the National Conservatory of Flamenco Arts.
Yjastros: The American Flamenco Repertory Company, a unique professional, touring Performance Company formatted similar to that of an American dance repertory company.
Tierra Adentro: The New Mexico School of Academics, Arts and Artesanía, an Albuquerque-based charter school with a core emphasis on academics, art and artesanía, serving students grades 6-12.
As a fourth-generation flamenco dancer, Marisol is one of the few American flamenco dancers raised in a family of artists. Her artistic interpretation, stunning in its depth and veracity, arises from Marisol’s immersion in the art from childhood. Marisol began her training with her family, studying with her grandmother, Clarita García de Aranda, and eventually dancing in her mother’s dance company, Ritmo Flamenco. Marisol studied with key flamenco artists in her formative years such as, Manolete, Mario Maya, Antonio Canales, La Farruca, Juana Amaya, Manuela Carrasco, Mercedes Amaya, and Alejandro Granados, just to name a few. Marisol also studied ballet, modern, Spanish classical dance as part of her dance training. She is currently an avid student of yoga.
Marisol currently performs as a Principal Dancer with Yjastros: the American Flamenco Repertory Company, and is recognized for her excellence in performing. Marisol has been featured in many choreographies by top flamenco choreographers, including works created by Yolanda Heredia, Juana Amaya, Carmen La “Talegona” and Mercedes Amaya, just to name a few. Marisol holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in choreography from the University of New Mexico.
Marisol is a founder of the Conservatory of Flamenco Arts, where she has taught since its establishment in 1999. She became a member of the University of New Mexico Dance Program faculty in 1998, where she has been instrumental in shaping its’ flamenco curriculum. Marisol is especially recognized for her skill as a teacher. Marisol is also an Associate Director of the National Institute of Flamenco, an arts organization dedicated to promoting and presenting flamenco, alongside her mother Eva and brother Joaquin. Marisol says “she loves dance and loves what it does for people.”
Born in Paris, France, Alexa began her studies at the School of the Paris Opera Ballet, and continued her training under the Royal Academy of Dancing Syllabus in the United States. She then began studying and performing Classical and Regional Spanish Dance with the Spanish Dance Society in Washington D.C. In 2001, Alexa moved to New Mexico to study flamenco at the University of New Mexico and at the National Conservatory of Flamenco Arts.
Most recently, she has been featured as a soloist in Yjastros: The American Flamenco Repertory Company in the choreographic works of Joaquin Encinias, Alejandro Granados in Azul Marino and Todo es de Color, as well as Cantiñas by Concha Jareño and Martinete by Mercedes Amaya.
For the past ten years, Alexa has been a devoted teacher of both the adult and children's curriculum at the Conservatory of Flamenco Arts, focusing on a variety of levels and techniques in flamenco and classical Spanish dance. This is her sixth year teaching and Festival Flamenco Internacional de Alburquerque.
From Dixon/Embudo, NM, Vicente has devoted his life to the study of Cante Flamenco, the art of flamenco singing. In 1992, Vicente began touring the US, Canada, and Latin America with the Jose Greco II Flamenco Dance Company, where he was mentored by Caño Roto singer, Alfonso Gabarri, “El Veneno” of Madrid, Spain. He sings and teaches for the National Institute of Flamenco and sings year-round with Yjastros. Vicente remains a pupil of renowned flamenco artist Chuscales from Granada.
“Vicente Griego “El Cartucho” is striking for his deep, sonorous wails that seem to come from a cavern,
someplace deep within his soul.” Anna Poplawska, Chicago Artist’s News
A resident of Madrid, Spain, Calvin Hazen has been a professional guitarist for over 20 years. He has performed at the most famous flamenco tablaos (Las Carboneras, Las Tablas, El Corral de la Moreria, etc.) alongside some of the most important artists (Jeronimo Maya, Joaquin Ruiz, Belen Lopez, Carmen “La Talegona”, Manuel Linan, David Paniagua, Eva Duran etc…). He has performed at some of the most prestigious theatres in Spain, the U.S. as well as internationally where his performances have enjoyed enthusiastic critical acclaim. Calvin has worked as musical director and composer for numerous companies including Suite Espanola, Carlota Santana Flamenco Vivo and Maria Benitez Teatro Flamenco. Recording credits include “El Pintor”, in Madrid, Spain and “Ni Mucho Ni Poco” (with singer, “El Yiyi”), in Santa Fe, N.M for both of which Calvin worked as composer and co-producer. Television appearances include the Tonight Show, Good Morning America and The Regis and Kathy Lee Show. Calvin is very pleased to be returning to Festival Flamenco where he has taught and performed for several years.
Ricardo Anglada is a flamenco guitarist and a native of Northern New Mexico. Anglada began playing guitar at age 12. In 2003, Anglada won first place in the Festival Flamenco Internacional Concurso. Anglada’s first teacher was his father. He later studied with Jose "Chuscales" Valle and other master guitarists in Festival Flamenco. He works with the flamenco program at the University of New Mexico and at the National Institute of Flamenco under the direction of Eva Encinias-Sandoval. Ricardo is currently the guitarist for the American Flamenco Repertory Company, “Yjastros,” under the direction of Joaquin Encinias and "Entre Flamenco" under the direction of Antonio Granjero. Ricardo has worked with many flamenco artists and groups throughout his career and works closely alongside his cousin Vicente Griego, flamenco singer. Ricardo has become one of the most sought after guitarists in the United States. He is a particularly gifted accompanist of baile and cante. With his passion for flamenco song, dance, and music, Ricardo is a powerful performer and promises to continue to be one of America's top flamenco artists. Ricardo says that without God none of his achievements would be possible. In 2007, Ricardo co-starred in the film “Cante Jondo” directed by Lewis Teague (Cujo, Navy Seals).