Stepping up: 'Yjastros 34' will explore the roots of flamenco, with orchestra - Albuquerque Journal

Stepping up: ‘Yjastros 34’ will explore the roots of flamenco, with orchestra

It’s been a two-year journey.

The National Institute of Flamenco is gearing up to present “Yjastros 34: The Rise of Flamenco.”

The performance will feature Spanish dancers Daniel Doña and Cristian Martín, as well at the NIF’s repertory company, Yjastros.

The three will be joined by the Orchestra of New Spain, based in Dallas.

“The conversation started about two years ago when the director of the Orchestra of New Spain contacted us,” says Marison Encinias, associate director of the National Institute of Flamenco. “We’ve been working with them since then in developing. Daniel is from Granada, Spain, and lives in the Spanish capital, Madrid. He had been teaching at UNM in the fall of 2017, and we thought it would work out with him being involved.”

Daniel Doña and Cristian Martín will perform with the National Institute of Flamenco’s Yjastros at the National Hispanic Cultural Center on March 15-16. (Courtesy of Marcos G. Punto)

Doña and Martín have garnered some of the most prestigious awards in flamenco and Spanish dance, including the Premio Ojo Critico and the Coreografía de Danza Española y Flamenco de Madrid, respectively.

The two dancers have created choreography that traces the lineage of flamenco beginning with early Spanish dance and music forms, such as fandangos, jácara, and toná.

Encinias says that with each Yjastros season, the NIF tries to create a new dynamic to the company.

“The way the institute has grown is amazing, because we continue to bring in new elements to the show as well as give younger dancers a chance to gain experience,” she says. “With Yjastros, we have a company where dancers can move up. In my position now, I’m able to use my creative energy in new ways and challenge myself, which is important.”

The performance will also be the company’s first with an orchestra.

The Orchestra of New Spain is under the direction of Grover Wilkins III, and it draws its principal repertory from manuscripts found in the court, public and cathedral archives of Spain.

Encinias says 10 guest musicians and vocalists will travel to Albuquerque for the show.

“Every piece of this production celebrates the Spanish heritage,” she says. “It’s four creative forces coming together as one, which will make for a spectacular night.”

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