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Flamenco summer kicks off July 3

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Emmy Grimm is feeling many emotions.

As she stares at her calendar, it’s full of performances – intimidating yet satisfying.

She sees it as a blessing, and the training has already begun taking place.

“I’m working with my physical therapist and doing more ballet,” she says. “I’ve got to remain strong for the season.”

Grimm is a flamenco dancer known by her stage name, La Emi.

She is gearing up for a nine-week residency at the Benitez Cabaret at The Lodge of Santa Fe beginning Wednesday, July 3. The season runs Wednesdays through Sundays through Sept. 1.

It’s the second summer she’s found a home at the cabaret – one that she spent her life dancing in, one where she is the headliner.

Grimm was raised in northern New Mexico and trained in flamenco in Santa Fe with the legendary Maria Benitez. She is the director of EmiArte Flamenco, based in Santa Fe.

For this summer season, she teamed up with the National Institute of Flamenco and Heritage Hotels.

“I’m taking one day at a time,” she says while getting ready for another performance. “You can’t really think too far ahead because you want to be in the moment with each performance.”

The summer season will feature eight numbers, as well as an intermission.

Each ranges from Spanish classical to shawl to bata de cola.

“It’s flamenco puro,” she says. “All of these choreographies are coming through the National Institute of Flamenco. They give us the top performers, and we’re able to get access to these world-renowned pieces.”

Joining Grimm on stage will be Nevarez and Jose Encinias from the NIF. The brothers are the next generation of flamenco dancers from the legendary Encinias family.

Acclaimed Iranian guitarist Kambiz Pakan is also scheduled to perform.

New Mexico-based singer Vicente Griego will join in on guest appearances.

Grimm is also excited to have Jerez, Spain-based singer Manuel Tañe as part of the show.

“Manuel is probably one of the top three vocalists in flamenco today,” she says. “Kambiz will play guitar for us. It’s going to be a worldly show with a strong New Mexico foundation.”

For the first time, Grimm will present her own choreography in the piece “Taranto.”

When she was studying in Spain earlier this year with La Popi, she was encouraged to choreograph.

“La Popi watched over the process,” Grimm says. “There’s material from all of my mentors, like Carmela Greco and Maria Benitez. It’s a culmination of everything I learned.”

Grimm says the piece is much more somber than she’s used to dancing.

“It’s about the struggles the miners went through in Spain,” she says. “It’s one of sorrow and pain.”

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