ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Flamenco has deeply rooted history in New Mexico.
And it’s dancers like Emmy Grimm who are helping keep the art form’s legacy alive.
With her company EmiArte Flamenco, Grimm has been performing monthly shows at Skylight in Santa Fe for more than a year.
This week, EmiArte Flamenco will offer up its first winter season with four shows to close out 2015. And it’s open to all ages.
“A lot of people see the venue and immediately think it’s a club,” she says. “It’s more than that. It’s becoming a hub of culture where all ages can come and see performances.”
Grimm has worked with Joe Ray Sandoval at Skylight in helping cultivate a space for dance.
“Joe Ray has created this cultural art center,” she says. “It’s amazing to see how much work he’s putting into it. Every time we do a show, they have upgraded something else – the sound system and lights. It’s basically become a black box theater.”
When starting her company over a year ago, Grimm always wanted to host seasonal performances.
The upcoming four-night stint will bring in Madrid dancer Nino de los Reyes.
He will be performing with his wife Triana Maciel as well as Grimm, Elena Osuna, Joaquin Gallegos and Vicente Griego.
“I’ve always wanted to bring in some international talent,” Grimm says. “I met him when I was in Madrid and through (my godfather) Vicente Griego, we were able to get him for the show.”
Griego says de los Reyes is one of the most sought-after flamenco dancers in the world.
De los Reyes was raised by his parents, Ramon de los Reyes and Clara Ramona, who are both dancers.
He began his training at the Centro de Arte Flamenco Amor de Dios in Madrid with masters of the calibre of Josele Heredia, María Magdalena, Manolete, Alejandro Granados y Antonio Reyes, among others. He completed this training at the Mariemma Professional Royal Conservatory of Dance in Spain.
At the same time, de los Reyes began his training in classical dance with Carmina Ocaña and Nadine Boisaubert and deepened his knowledge of ballet at the prestigious Boston Ballet.
His professional career started under director Paco Sánchez in the show Campanas Flamencas.
Recently, de los Reyes made a choreographic residency at “Center for the Art” of Boston with Peter Di Muro and Elver Yariza. He also takes part of the show “Bodas de Sangre” at Notre Dame University under direction of Antón Juan.
Griego says de los Reyes has a studio in Guadalajara, Mexico, and will be coming up.
“He’s such a generous artist and will also be teaching a workshop,” Griego says. “He’s very deep rooted in traditional flamenco dance. He’s the perfect mix of modern and traditional flamenco dancing. I would say he’s flamenco puro y moderno.”
Grimm is especially excited to be giving her community some culture.
Grimm grew up in New Mexico and has been dancing since she was a child.
She’s spent time working in Spain, yet comes back to teach at the Maria Benetiz Institute for Spanish Arts.
On any given day, Grimm can be found taking ballet lessons. Then follows at least two hours of rehearsal daily and teaching anywhere from two to four hours.
In between all of that, she will see her physical therapist for cross training and learn how to prevent injury.
This also doesn’t count the time she spends promoting and planning her shows.
“It’s a full-time job,” she says. “For me, though, it’s a life calling and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I want to keep doing this my entire life and I’m a student and I still have so much to learn. I feel very honored and blessed to work with the artists and (with) every show I learn a tremendous amount.”