Here in the Southwest region of the United States, we are blessed with a favorable climate, with generous sunshine and a rich cultural tradition of food, music, and dance. Flamenco is an especially vibrant form of dance – originally a product of the Andaluz region of Spain and popular here in Santa Fe. Flamenco has been in existence since the 16th century, but remains fresh and contemporary. This expressive art form involves guitars, percussion, and wildly colorful costumes. The dancing and music are vibrant, and emotionally stirring, and draw their influences from multinational roots: Arabs, Roma, Jews, and Moors.
While it’s easy to be swept up in the pageantry and color of the music and the athleticism of the dancing, flamenco also includes a rich storytelling element. The singing is as powerful as the instrument accompaniment – while also bringing a wistful element.
Santa Fe boasts multiple options for first-quality flamenco performances. Two renowned flamenco companies perform during the summer in Santa Fe.
Juan Siddi Flamenco Company performs at the Maria Benitez Cabaret Theater at The Lodge in Santa Fe with special guests Nevarez and Jose Encinias www.arteflamencosociety.org.
Performance dates are Wednesdays – Sundays; July 13 – August 26, 2018
Another fantastic summer of flamenco performances at the Benitez Cabaret is set to begin in July as we welcome the inaugural season of EmiArteFlamenco in special collaboration with the National Institute of Flamenco!
This thrilling and passionate season features La Emi with special guests Nevarez y Jose Encinias, acclaimed guitarist Chuscales, and singers Jose Fernandez and Vicente Griego.
Tickets cost $20-$50 and can be purchased now through The Lensic Box Office at TicketsSantaFe.org or 505.988.1234. Group discounts (5 tickets or more) are available. Tickets will also be available at the door after 6:30 p.m.; doors open at 7:15 p.m. with shows starting at 8 p.m.
A second option is the Antonio Granjero and Entre Flamenco Company, https://www.entreflamenco.com. Individual ticket prices for each company are modestly priced, and range from $25 to $55. Ole!
After the show, the Inn on the Alameda provides the ideal atmosphere for winding down and relaxing with a light meal or after dinner drink. The Agogo Lounge serves from 5-9:30 pm daily. Our Southwest-appointed rooms reflect the rich culture of the region, while providing upscale amenities and a private balcony or patio for each room or suite. Located just two blocks from the Santa Fe plaza, the Inn on the Alameda is steps away from the best that Santa Fe offers.
Did you know that Santa Fe has a ballet company? Yes, we share, but what a great dance partner we have in Aspen, CO! For seventeen years, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet has made Santa Fe its second home, and local and visiting dance aficionados are grateful.
The company returns to the City Different for two performances on March 29 and March 30, both at 7:30pm at the Lensic. The innovative troupe brings a program of three works, Jiri Kylián’s poignant 1974 piece, Return to a Strange Land, Alejandro Cerrudo’s striking new ballet, Last, and Trey McIntyre’s seductive Like a Samba, all showcasing the talent and skill of ASFB dancers.
The son of a child-dancer, Jiri Kylián‘s first love was circus, which led to a training regimen in acrobatics. After his acrobatic academy folded, ballet took him to the Prague Conservatory. His studies with the free-spirited choreographer John Cranko at the prestigious Stuttgart Ballet and subsequent work with Carel Birnie of NDT, along with a panoply of world-wide awards, helped form the unique vision that Santa Fe dance-lovers will enjoy.
Return to a Strange Land, photo courtesy ASFB, copyright Rosalie O’Connor
A native of Madrid, Alejandro Cerrudo was educated at the Real Conservatorio Professional de Danza de Madrid. Named a Choreographic Fellow of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, he became the company’s first Resident Choreographer in 2009. Mr. Cerrudo danced in December 2012 at Jacob’s Pillow, partnering the sublime Wendy Whelan. The piece being performed in Santa Fe, Last, with music by Henryk Gorecki, was premiered at the Joyce Theater in October 2012.
Last by Alejandro Cerrudo, photo courtesy of ASFB, copyright Rosalie O’Connor
Trained at North Carolina School of the Arts and Houston Ballet Academy, American dancer/choreographer Trey McIntyre, founded his dance company, the Trey McIntyre Project, in 2005. McIntyre is known for “brainy” ballet melded with visceral physicality, and anything that is characterized as being “like a samba” is sure to be a hit in rhythmic Santa Fe!
Like a Samba by Trey McIntyre, photo courtesy of ASFB, copyright Rosalie O’Connor
Not content with just performing, ASFB offers a curriculum of ballet, jazz and modern dance in both Aspen and Santa Fe. The ASFB School provides quality training for pre-professional students, as well as recreational dancers, all in a supportive environment designed to enhance confidence and accomplishment while nurturing artistic expression and technical skill. Students perform in an annual spring recital, and alongside ASFB’s professional dancers in The Nutcracker. ASFB deserves great credit for awarding over $30,000 in needs-based scholarships every year, helping to ensure a vibrant future for dance arts in America.
Santa Fe loves to see music and movement together, and if you do too, then head for the Lensic!
We’re lucky here in Santa Fe…lucky that so many people want to come here and that so many talented people are happy to perform here! Lucky too, that we have our excellent Lensic Performing Arts Center (soon to celebrate a 10th anniversary!) providing a venue that always sets a beautifully memorable backdrop for the unusual arts that wend their way to the City Different.
The Stunning Lensic Performing Arts Center
One of those unusual events happens this week, and we have only one chance to see it. The Nrityagram Dance Ensemble of Southern India will be appearing at the Lensic on Friday night, April 8, 2011 for a single performance. In conjunction with the Lensic, the generous minds behind the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, who celebrate dance in all its global permutations, have brought this internationally acclaimed company and the entrancing choreography of Surpa Sen to help the West dream of the East.
The Captivating Rhythms of the East come to Santa Fe
Founded by Protima Gauri (whose life was tragically cut short in 1998), Nrityagram is the realization of her “dream of building a community of dancers in a forsaken place amidst nature. A place where nothing exists, except dance. A place where you breathe, eat, sleep, dream, talk, imagine – dance. A place where all the five senses can be refined to perfection. A place where dancers drop negative qualities such as jealousy, small-mindedness, greed and malice to embrace their colleagues as sisters and support each other in their journey towards becoming dancers of merit.” A worthy goal, indeed!
The dancers of the company follow a lifestyle that centers on the age-old Gurukul tradition, an ancient method that helps students repay their training through care for their Guru. This encompasses a broad array of duties, from cultivating and cooking to performing dance recitals to earn living expenses. At Nrityagram, the institution itself is the Guru, a protector which offers knowledge and experience to trainees inspired by its goals. Along with naturally intensive dance training, students study Indian literature, mythology and poetry, as well as music and the history of dance and dance theory. Their classes also include Sanskrit, aesthetics, philosophy and spiritual thought, and workshops offered in martial arts, yoga, and mime help to improve stance and energy. Meditation practice inculcates an awareness of the inter-relatedness of the arts and helps to focus the many-faceted training into creating a dancer who is ready to go out into the world and fully represent these traditions.
This is a performance sure to transport dance-lovers to magical and spiritual heights through the sensuous flow of Odissi, one of the oldest of India’s classical dance forms. Ancient wisdom, sacred ritual, and divine transformation are all interpreted through a magnetic mixture of music and movement. Set to an original score for a stunning ensemble of female dancers, whose exceptional synchronicity, compelling physicality and emotional honesty will fill the stage and the soul, this is a night out that shouldn’t be missed!
Photos courtesy of the Lensic Performing Arts Center and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet; all rights reserved.
Invaders of the Heart: Revelation is performed on Saturday, March 19, 2011 at 7pm at the James A Little Theatre, located on Cerrillos Raod Santa fe at the New Mexico School for the Deaf
Just when you think you know your own town well, an exciting surprise comes your way! Last night, it was the gift that Pomegranate Studios brought to the stage of the James A. Little Theatre in their production Invaders of the Heart 2011: Revelation. Pure enjoyment!
Mesmerizing Movement by Myra Krien
I had known of Pomegranate’s existence and had heard the pulsing beats emanating from the studio at various times, but had not yet made the effort to discover more. It’s a sad reality that local dance companies often languish in obscurity, but don’t be fooled, they are out there working hard, and this performance proved what dedication, talent and energy can do, even when long-time residents like me don’t even know what they are up to. 24 dancers, 90 costumes, and 10 enormous ostrich feather fans, as well as veil fans, 3 parasols, a bird, and a lion all showed up onstage over the course of almost two hours of high-energy and mesmerizing dance. The range of Middle Eastern styles encompassed a Tribal section, an Oriental/Egyptian section, a Bellydance-Tango Fusion section, an Asian Fusion section, a Turkish/Armenian section, and even a terrifically entertaining solo by insirational founder, Myra Krien. An appearance by guest stars, Unmata, one of the hottest tribal style belly-dance acts, showed off their highly athletic chops, as they gave a precious a slot of their world tour to hit the stage with this local company.
Shake it, Sister!
The broad range of musical selections was by turns hypnotic and wildly energetic, and the audience responded in kind. It is amazing to think that all, and I mean all, of the costumes were created by the company, and it’s no surprise that a retail line of clothing, Persephone, has resulted from the necessity of an in-house costume shop. And the fact that the choreography is also in-house makes one wonder when Myra Krien has time to sleep! Especially when you add in the existence of the SEEDs program for girls, an inspirational entity in itself! Pomegranate SEEDs, which stand for Self-esteem, Empowerment and Education through Dance, is an after-school program, established by Founder/Director Krien in 2001 to present to youth the finest instruction in Middle Eastern Arts along with programming that promotes self-discovery and self-actualization, provides mentorship at a very high level and prepares young women for Independence. Judging from the number of lovely young women onstage as well as in the audience, it seems like its mission, to mentor young women through dance in order to create healthy and strong individuals who are socially and fiscally responsible to themselves and their community, is being accomplished.
Dedication = Dramatic Dance
Can you tell I was really impressed? Days are longer now, and nights are warmer, so it’s easy to head for the James A. Little Theatre tonight, Saturday, March 19 at 7pm for one more chance to see this electric stage presentation. You won’t regret it…and you’ll know that your financial support will help keep this vital program alive in the City Different!
Photos courtesy of Pomegranate Studios, all rights reserved
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet appears on Friday, March 11 and Saturday March 12 at 7:30pm in the Lensic Performing Arts center on 211 West San Francisco Street in Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe Loves Dance!
We all know that our Santa Fe Opera is heralded far and wide for the stunning summer performance season that rolls around each year in July. But did you know that Santa Fe also has a ballet troupe that gets better and better year by year?
Jiri Kylian’s Stamping Ground: Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Photo by Rosalie O’Connor
In conjunction with Aspen, CO, another small town with big cultural aspirations, Aspen Santa Be Ballet has been bringing terrific dance to the City Different via a series of performances throughout the year. Now well into its second decade, ASFB was founded in 1990 by Aspen resident, Bebe Schweppe, eventually evolving into a nationally-recognized ballet company and dance academy dedicated to developing local talent in the Southwest. The School of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, with locations in both Aspen, CO and Santa Fe, NM, currently provides classes in ballet, tap, and jazz for over 360 students, who might otherwise have to travel to another city for dance education at this level of excellence. Under the able stewardship of Executive Director, Jean-Phillipe Malaty, and Artistic Director, Tom Mossbrucker, the company has become a leader in terms of repertoire. ASFB’s mission of acquiring and commissioning work from top choreographers has been a distinct treat for dance lovers, and the performance schedule takes the company far and wide to showcase the talents of their hard-working troupe. And as repetitive as it must seem, they exhibit no reluctance about presenting classics like The Nutcracker, which enhances the Santa Fe holiday season each winter.
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s Holiday Magic
Culturally-focused community outreach is also part of the ASFB standard, with their popular Mexican folklore program for young dancers, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Folklórico, offered to interested students in both school locations. In addition, ASFB welomes other illustrious dance companies to perform in Santa Fe. In recent years, the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Paul Taylor Dance Company, MOMIX, Alvin Ailey Dance, Pilobolus and the hilarious farceurs, Les Ballets Trockadero, have all made the trek to the Lensic Performing Arts Center. On April 8, ASFB brings the Nrityagram Dance Ensemble of India for what will surely be a spellbinding evening of eastern dance; can’t wait for that one!
Coming April 8, 2011! Nrityagram Dance Ensemble
Spring is a season for new beginnings, and this weekend, on March 11 and 12, in celebration of their 15th anniversary season, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet will debut two new ballets from choreographers Jiri Kylian and Nicolo Fonte in what should be a pair of a vibrant performances. The company will present Kylian’s Stamping Ground, and a newly commissioned dance by Fonte also makes its Santa Fe premiere. Cayetano Soto‘s striking Uneven, with music by Maya Beiser, rounds out the program. These are performances that dance lovers should not be miss, as the technical and expressionistic talents of the ASFB dancers seem to expand exponentially with each return engagement in Santa Fe. The company can be commended for its consistent commitment to commissioning and performing unusual work by both well-known and up-and-coming choreographers. This is an exemplary and even daring goal, in an economic climate that sometimes rewards conservative choices with higher ticket sales.
Cayetano Soto’s Uneven: Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Photo by Rosalie O’Connor
If you like your music accompanied by supple movement, head for the Lensic this weekend, where your ticket purchase will buy you an evening of enjoyment and at the same time, will help keep this small and gutsy company safely grounded in the Southwest.
And if Santa Fe travel plans don’t materialize until the following weekend, dance lovers need not despair! Santa Fe’s own belly-dancing troupe, ably led by Myra Krien of Pomegranate Studios will present Invaders of the Heart 2011: Revelation at the James A. Little Theatre on Friday and Saturday, March 18 and 19 at 7pm. 24 dancers, 90 costumes, 10 enormous ostrich feather fans, 3 parasols, a bird, a lion, and more….now THAT sounds like fun, doesn’t it?
Invaders of the Heart: When It’s GOOD to Have a Sinuous Stomach!