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Festival Flamenco: Students learn secrets of Spanish artform

UNM has been recognized for its innovation in many areas of education, and this weekend the University will do its part to enrich the experience of students and patrons of the arts with the 15th Annual Festival Flamenco Internacional.

The festival includes two weeks of classes, workshops and performances from artists from the United States, Argentina and Spain. Students from Canada, Mexico and South America also will be in attendance.

Festival coordinator Eva Encinias-Sandoval is descendant of a long line of flamenco dancers and singers, as well as an associate professor in the University’s Theater and Dance Department.

She joined the faculty in 1976 and began coordinating the festival in 1987 because she said she felt her students were growing but not getting enough exposure to quality performers. By 1992 the festival became an international event.

“The festival is a wonderful opportunity for cultural blending, because the artists have a chance to learn about the many cultures here in New Mexico, and vice-versa,” Encinias-Sandoval said.

She also is a founding member of the National Conservatory of Flamenco Arts in Albuquerque.

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The conservatory offers lessons in flamenco dance, guitar and singing, and has an archive of recordings, videos and books, which combines with the festival to make Albuquerque a center of American flamenco.

“The reason why the flamenco is so popular in Albuquerque is because there are so many opportunities to experience flamenco,” Encinias-Sandoval said.

The conservatory has classes for children and adults and the University offers classes for degree and non-degree students in beginning, intermediate and advanced flamenco.

“The festival is exciting because it shows the cultural roots flamenco has that other forms of dance have lost,” Gretchen Williams, a third-year flamenco student, said.

Marisol Encinias, Eva’s daughter, has been studying flamenco her whole life.

She, along with the rest of her family, helps organize the festival annually.

“The exciting part about the festival is having access to professionals you can’t even study with in Spain,” Encinias said.

The festival began June 4 with flamenco dance classes at Keller Hall on the UNM campus.

A full schedule of classes is available at

The Flamenco Expo also takes place in Keller Hall June 8. Tickets are $20.

June 9 and 10 is the Trilogia, an interpretation of flamenco dance by guest dancers Alejandro Garanados, AndrÇs Mar°n and Rafael Campallo. The Trilogia is held in UNM’s Rodey Theatre and tickets range in price from $25 to $50.

The Fiesta Flamenca is June 13-16 at Rodey Theatre. The fiesta is an evening of flamenco music, song and dance by local and visiting artists, and tickets range in price from $25 to $50.

Tickets are available at the ticket office outside the UNM Bookstore; at the festival office, which can be reached at 242-7600; or through, which can be reached at 1-800-305-9915. For more information, call the Festival office.

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