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Turning up the heat: Yjastros flamenco company presents ‘El Fuego Fatuo’

Kayla Lyall with manton during a performance. (Courtesy of Pat Berrett)

The goal is to bring something different.

This is what Yjastros: The American Flamenco Repertory Company has done since 1999.

Its latest show is titled “El Fuego Fatuo” and is being presented at 8 p.m. Friday, March 13, and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 14, at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.

The performance features Esperanza Fernández of Seville, Spain, and the musical group Revózo, led by Vicente Griego and Cesár Beauvallet.

“Esperanza was going to be in the country, and we’ve had contact with her in the past,” says Marisol Encinias, associate director of the National Institute of Flamenco. “We asked her to sing in this concert, and it’s a great addition to our program.”

Yjastros is taking Spanish composer Manuel de Falla’s famous work “El Fuego Fatuo” and bringing it to life.

Fernández and Revózo will lend themselves to the display of flamenco and stunning musical compositions.

“This season’s concept is to celebrate the fuego fatuo, the persistent fire that is the spirit of flamenco,” Joaquin Encinias, Yjastros artistic director, says in a statement. “By sharing de Falla’s timeless melody, we honor the spirit that undoubtedly inspired this beautiful song. We do this through the cante of Esperanza Fernández, music of Revózo and Vicente Griego, and the group and solo dance choreography resting on the artists of Yjastros.”

Marisol Encinias says Yjastros will also present a new work by Natalia Gonzalez, “Lobo.”

“We have never performed it before,” Marisol Encinias says. “Joaquin and the dancers got the piece up to be performed. It has some interesting music, and it goes between tango argentino and modern music. Her brother, Hector Gonzalez, created a track for it. There is some interesting imagery, and we’re excited to get some new work out to the world.”

Marisol Encinias says being able to get Fernández to sing in the performance is great.

“She’s a Gypsy from Sevilla and comes from an important family in flamenco,” she says. “She’s drawn to Cuban music, and being able to work together and work with Cesár (Beauvallet) has been amazing to watch.”

The show has 12 pieces, though each performance is short.

Marisol Encinias wants to push Yjastros further now that the foundation for the company is solid.

“Everything we do is mission-based,” she says. “This creates a foundation, and we offer a strong education component. The vision of Yjastros is to be a national company. We have an archive of over 60 works, and it continues to grow with each new season. This company has the potential to grow so much further. It’s taken a lot of hard work over the last two decades to get where we are. We’re still reaching for the stars.”

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