Yjastros: The American Flamenco Repertory Company
Yjastros was founded in 1999 under the direction of acclaimed artist Joaquin Encinias. Yjastros is the only true flamenco repertory company in the United States and a living archive of Flamenco. The company is composed of seasoned performers executing choreographies composed by Mr. Encinias and today’s most influential Flamenco artists from around the world. The highly refined performances combine innovative dances with live musical and vocal accompaniment that leaves audiences spellbound.
With support from the University of New Mexico, visiting master artists of flamenco and Danza Española from Spain have worked closely with Yjastros since the 2012 inception of the UNM Guest Artist Line. these master artists construct choreographies, teach classes, and continue to cultivate the living art of Flamenco in the United States.
YJASTROS: A NUESTRO AIRE, A CELEBRATION OF 20 YEARS
In 1999, Yjastros: The American Flamenco Repertory Company set forth on an artistic journey that would become America’s most distinctive flamenco project. This revolutionary performance entity combined the mosaic quality of the American repertory company with the authentic idiom of flamenco, creating a living archive of choreographic masterworks.
This November, the National Institute of Flamenco and the National Hispanic Cultural Center present Yjastros 20th Anniversary Season. Yjastros will celebrate 20 years of awe-inspiring flamenco with performance of two world premiere choreographies, La Mirada También Baila by Mercedes Ruíz (Jerez de la Frontera, Spain) and Predomino by “La Popi” and reprise two of Artistic Director Joaquin Encinias’ most powerful, beloved works, Caravana de los Zincalí (2005) and A Nuestro Aire (2001).
Mr. Encinias shares these reflections on the art form and A Nuestro Aire: “I believe dance is a universal language. It identifies cultures in the same way spoken language does. However, dance is most readily transferred by using all of our senses, instincts, and spirit. Dance is a language we all speak, yet few recognize its power. A Nuestro Aire, a flagship choreography of Yjastros in its early years was my effort to explore the universality of flamenco while respecting traditions and sensibilities.”
In what promises to be an electrifying season, audiences will witness reconstructions of classic works by Encinias alongside brand new works by guest choreographers – an artistic arrangement emblematic of the fabric and structure of Yjastros’ own unique journey as a company, and Mr. Encinias’ vision of an interplay among choreographic and expressive possibilities that respect tradition deeply while encouraging innovation and freshness.
THE RISE OF FLAMENCO (YJASTROS’ 34th SEASON)
The National Institute of Flamenco and the National Hispanic Cultural Center, in collaboration with the University of New Mexico, present Yjastros 34: The Rise of Flamenco. This stunning production features internationally-acclaimed guest artists, dancers/choreographers Daniel Doña (Granada, Spain) and Cristian Martín (Ávila, Spain), and the Orchestra of New Spain (Dallas, Texas) under the direction of Grover Wilkins III. Yjastros 34: The Rise of Flamenco traces the profound lineage of the art of flamenco, beginning with early Spanish dance and music forms, such as fandangos, jácara, and toná, taking the audience on an artistic journey through the musical and gestural forms that become modern flamenco.
Both Doña and Martín have garnered some of the most prestigious awards in flamenco and Spanish dance, including the Premio Ojo Critico (Doña), the Coreografía de Danza Española y Flamenco de Madrid (Martín). Their unique artistic vision brings the distant past into a dynamic relationship with the contemporary, immersing the audience in moving, unforgettable dance and music.
The Orchestra of New Spain, under the direction of Grover Wilkins III, draws its principal repertory from manuscripts found in the court, public, and cathedral archives of Spain. Ten guest musicians and vocalists will travel to Albuquerque, forming the awe-inspiring musical accompaniment to the performance, grounded in Spanish artistic heritage.
Yjastros will debut new choreography created and set by Doña and Martín, and take the stage with these brilliant guest dancers and musicians to manifest an aesthetic experience unlike any other.
In February 2019, Yjastros performs with Daniel Doña, Cristian Martín, and the Orchestra of New Spain in the Orchestra’s home city of Dallas. In March, Yjastros returns to their home city of Albuquerque to take the stage at the Journal Theatre with Daniel Doña, Cristian Martín, and the Orchestra of New Spain.
YJASTROS’ 33rd season
Yjastros 33 is an awe-inspiring exploration of both tradition and experimentation in the art form of flamenco, embodying the full range of flamenco’s emotional and choreographic possibilities. This breathtaking season features works by Spanish flamenco master artists Adrián Santana and Sonia Olla, and the premieres of Águeda Saavedra’s Suite Saavedra and Irene La Sentío’s De paso, featuring a special appearance by guest cantaora, Alicia Morales. These stunning works intertwine the roots of flamenco dance with modern interpretations to create a visually and sonically exquisite tapestry of powerful choreography and music.
De paso, choreographed by Irene “La Sentío” and accompanied by Alicia Morales, is the newest choreography to be set on Yjastros. Suite Saavedra, choreographed by Águeda Saavedra, exemplifies her graceful, strong aesthetic and a gorgeous display of flamenco complementos, or props, the bata de cola, mantón, and castanets. Elementos, choreographed by Adrián Santana, pays homage to Málaga, the beautiful seaside town where he was born. In this work, Santana utilizes emblematic music and rhythm to guide the journey through imagery inspired by the beauty of the seaside. Sonia Olla’s Amanecer meditates on the beauty of the dawn and the sense of renewal each daybreak brings to us. Using flamenco as a vehicle, Olla’s piece is vital and powerful, much like the sunrise.
Yjastros' 32nd Season
Yjastros: The American Flamenco Repertory Company proudly brings the creative visions of world-renowned flamenco artists to the American pubic, while cultivating the living art of flamenco in the United States. Celebrating their 32nd season, Yjastros come together after a year of profound individual growth. Within the past year, company members have honed their artistic expression both through the spontaneous, improvisational world of the Tablao and their own individual artistic projects. The simultaneously traditional and innovative nature of this season’s choreographies perfectly embodies the company’s triumphant return to the stage.
Jesús Carmona’s piece, Catorce Dias, takes its title from the brief time period--just fourteen days--in which he had to choreograph this ambitious work. Elementos, choreographed by Adrián Santana, pays homage to Málaga, the beautiful seaside town where he was born. In this work, Santana utilizes emblematic music and rhythm to guide the journey through imagery inspired by the beauty of the seaside. Jaleos 5J, choreographed by Pedro Córdoba, imitates the superior quality of the Jamón Serrano from animals raised in natural environments. Daniel Doña’s Suite “Pre-Flamenca” was inspired by pre-flamenco music and the curiosity provoked by the popular choreographic language of the early eighteenth century.
With support from the University of New Mexico, visiting flamenco master artists from Spain have worked closely with Yjastros since 2012. Artistic Director Joaquin Encinias’ mission over the last 17 years to train professional dancers in America with high skill and integrity brings these master artists to Albuquerque to create new works and continue the development of flamenco as a living art form.