ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The University of New Mexico’s faculty dance concert is a potpourri of flamenco and contemporary moves pulsating with intense footwork and physical elegance.
“Knowhere” opens in the Rodey Theatre on Friday, Feb. 26 with works by three visiting flamenco choreographers and three by UNM resident faculty members. The guest artists developed their dances during their university residency.
Carmen “La Talegona,” known for her emotional interpretation of flamenco, choreographed “Talegoneando” for eight dancers. The piece is a farruca, a light form of flamenco music usually performed by men. The dancers traditionally wear clothing used for horseback riding, usually a cropped riding skirt or high-waisted pants topped by an elaborate vest and jacket. Known for its lightning turns and intense footwork, the dance incorporates sustained lifts and falls with dramatic poses.
Guest choreographer Valeriano Paños created “Fandango” for 12 dancers. Set to the late 18th century pre-flamenco composition of the same name, it incorporates contemporary Spanish and flamenco vocabulary into an introspective world by combining the old and the new.
Artistic director and department chair Vladimir Conde Reche created “Search for the Silver Lining” with eight dancers set to an original score by UNM music student Mathew Arrelin.
“The work is a reflection of how we are in need of working together more than anything and building on that strength,” Reche said. “It shows the struggles of people and how they can get to and from places through unity.”
Slovenian/Austrian choreographer Tomaž Simatovic designed the contemporary “if i could only reach you” to capture the quirky feelings of being in love set to Queen’s “Breakthru.” Simatovic is a performance artist and passionate traveler.
“He’s been investigating how a movement can be originated by sensations,” Reche said. “That sensation will lead the viewer through the choreographer’s intent.”
Reche will perform in associate professor of dance Donna Jewell’s new work “Superior Temporal (slightly higher up and off to the side)” in a duet with Kelsey Paschich. The piece investigates how humans interfere with one another in both enhancing and destructive ways.
“She masters the collaboration between the creator and the performer,” Reche said, “where the performer becomes somewhat of a creator.”