'Intricate choreography': National Institute of Flamenco presents 'Yjastros By Design' - Albuquerque Journal

‘Intricate choreography’: National Institute of Flamenco presents ‘Yjastros By Design’

Carlos Menchaca, Olivia Marin, Andrea Lozano, Nevarez Encinias and Madison Olguin are members of Yjastros. (Courtesy of Farruk)

Joaquín Encinias, as a dancer, knows that the show must go on.

As artistic director of National Institute of Flamenco and Yjastros: The American Flamenco Repertory Company, Encinias has learned to pivot and make the best of situation.

“The last couple of years has been a ride with the pandemic,” he says. “We’ve done some great things with Festival Flamenco, and we feel good about it.”

Encinias has been prepping Yjastros for its next endeavor – “Yjastros By Design.” The performances take place on Friday, Nov. 12, and Saturday, Nov. 13.

Encinias says this will be the company’s first show in which the company is heavily featured.

“We’re doing four or five pieces,” he says. “We’ve been rehearsing in masks, which makes it difficult to rehearse full out.”

Since Festival Flamenco de Alburquerque in June, Encinias says, the company began focusing on training together.

“We’ve been trying to get us back into the best condition,” he says.

Encinias is looking forward to “Yjastros By Design” because it’s an opportunity to get back to the company’s roots.

“We love collaborations, and those are happening in this show,” he says. “But we’re pulling together as a company and showcasing what we do best. It’s intricate choreography done by a group.”

There will be seven pieces during the performance.

Joaqun Encinias, National Institute of Flamenco artistic director, will perform with Yjastros. (Courtesy of Sofia Lee Moran)

“I’m dancing the first piece with the company,” he says. “Getting back to my roots as a dancer has been a challenge, but also wonderful. I’m still very fortunate in everything that I get to do.”

Encinias says all of his dancers have missed performing for a live audience.

He says the company has taken advantage of the downtime.

“We’ve had some time to reflect and improve on other levels of dance,” he says. “We’re really excited about being in the theater. Within the last week, I’m feeling the energy from the dancers.”

Encinias says the energy is pulsing throughout the NIF as well as its charter school, Tierra Adentro of New Mexico.

“Our charter school now has a campus next to NIF, which opened in October,” he says. “We have three more dance studios and three music studios. Our charter school is where some of our Yjastros members work. We’re feeling very blessed in many ways.”

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