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.