Twenty-eight years is a long time.
Yet, the Festival Flamenco Internacional is barely scratching the surface when it comes to the centuries-old art of flamenco.
The annual event will again feature some of the most talented names in the flamenco world.
“Each year, we want to grow and give something different to the community,” says Eva Encinias Sandoval, Festival Flamenco founder and artistic director. “This year’s performers include a stellar lineup of Spanish flamenco superstars that represent a wide display of talent and styles ranging from traditional flamenco to cutting-edge performances. These artists embody the essence of 28 years of Festival Flamenco Internacional.”
Beginning on June 7, there will be more than 30 artists participating in performances and workshops. The festival runs through June 13 and performances will be held nightly at the University of New Mexico’s Rodey Theatre and at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.
Festival Flamenco Internacional is the largest gathering of flamenco dance and music in the United States, with the most diverse flamenco experience outside of Spain.
Encinias Sandoval says the festival’s headliners include Concha Jareño, José Maya, Antonio Canales, featuring Adela Campallo, and Pastora Galván, featuring her father, the great flamenco maestro, José Galván.
She says this year’s event will feature three cante (song) concerts, which will be given by flamenco greats Juana la del Pipa, Davíd “El Galli,” and José Valencia.
“Cante is the oldest form of flamenco,” she says. “We tend to always focus on the baile part of flamenco. Cante is so powerful.”
One of the featured performances is by Canales y Compañiais, which is called, “A Dos.” It features the astounding bailaora Campallo. It takes place at 8 p.m. June 8 at Rodey Theatre.
Canales says the piece is about the dialogue between two spirits through baile and the voice, through the percussion’s heartbeat and the guitarra’s piercing melody.
“It is a secret. It is love. It is pain. It is confusion. It is being lost so one can be found,” he says. “All is directed to the understanding of the man and of the woman and the path that is to be taken between them. It is about the beauty and tragedy of destiny, of life and of death. It is about two people who live as prisoners of their emotions and who inevitably must be ‘A Dos’ for life to continue on.”
Pastora Galván will perform “dentidades” at 8 p.m. June 11 at Rodey Theatre and will be followed by a cante concert by la del Pipa.
Another featured performance will be Jareño’s “El Baúl de los Flamencos” and will take place at 8 p.m. June 9 at Rodey Theatre.
Encinias Sandoval says immediately following this production is the cante concert by la del Pipa, also at Rodey Theatre.
Maya will perform his piece called “Latente,” which will take place at 8 p.m. June 10 at the NHCC. Immediately following this production is the cante concert by”El Galli.”
“Latente” is an original journey that takes the audience through the profundities of a bailaor’s soul as Maya follows the fountain of his instinct in a quest of discovery.
“In a world confronted by reality and dreams, I am pulled by unknown impulses. Something calls me to cross over to the other side of my closed eyes. In this everlasting search, I observe the reality of this violent and conflicting world,” Maya says. “It is in these moments that I need to know whom I truly am – where I am going and where I have come from. … In this state of freedom that my conscience accepts that black figure that connects me to the lost memories of my soul; the occulted part of my personality that completes my being.”
Encinias Sandoval says the festival has teamed up with the state’s “New Mexico True” campaign in offering an in-depth look at the art of flamenco. The program runs June 11-13 and is perfect for travelers discovering New Mexico for the first time and locals alike.
It includes two evening performances featuring world-class flamenco artists from Spain; six hours of hands-on and experiential flamenco instruction in beginning-level dance, music and history. Previous experience is not required. Also being offered are a Spanish cooking and food-tasting course and two VIP food and wine receptions.
Those interested can call 242-7600.
“The purpose of this festival since the beginning is to create a community,” she says. “We’ve been fortunate to keep growing the festival and moving forward with everything that we do. It’s a chance to learn about this beautiful art in all aspects.”