The University of New Mexico Department of Theatre and Dance announced recently the inaugural year of a permanent visiting professor line for its renowned flamenco dance emphasis program. Establishing the visiting professorship will allow UNM students to train each semester with internationally acclaimed flamenco artists.
The permanent visiting faculty line further enhances the department's status as home to the only undergraduate and graduate flamenco degree programs in the world, and places Albuquerque as the center for flamenco education in the United States.
Each semester, visiting guest artists will teach special topics and workshops in flamenco dance, which are designed to enhance students' depth of knowledge and range of skills. In January and February, Concha Jareño, a highly qualified, prize-winning Spanish dancer from Madrid, will serve as the visiting professor. She is currently one of the most important flamenco artists.
Jareño is often a guest artist in famous tablaos around Spain, and teaches in the legendary school "Amor de Dios" as well as around the world. She began her career in 1998 with the Rafael de Córdoba dance company. Projects with Yolanda Heredia and Rafaela Carrasco took her to some of the world's most important festivals.
Jareño also has been awarded numerous prizes including Best Solo Dancer in Madrid's Flamenco and Spanish Dancing Choreography Contest, as well as second prize, dancing in the "Concurso de Cante Flamenco de las Minas," and the "Premio Revelación" in the Festival de Jeréz.
Some guest artists have a history of teaching and performing at the Festival Flamenco Internacional de Alburquerque, which has been hosted by UNM for 25 years. The Department of Theatre and Dance hosted Mercedes Amaya and Carmen La Talegona this past fall. "Martinete," a work choreographed by Amaya during her residency, will be presented in the faculty dance concert ArtFacts, Feb. 22 through March 3 in Rodey Theatre.
Undergraduate flamenco degree options include a minor or major in dance with a flamenco emphasis, as well as graduate-level degree programs including a Master of Arts (MA) in History and Criticism, and a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Performance or Choreography. The flamenco program at UNM is lead by Professor Eva Encinias Sandoval who belongs to a flamenco family and learned to dance from her mother, the bailaora Clarita - Clara García de Aranda. Although at present Encinias Sandoval is mainly devoted to her teaching work, between the years 1970 and 1989 she toured all over the United States with her own company, Ritmo Flamenco.
--Posted Thursday, February 14, 2013. Originally appeared in UNM Today on January 13, 2013, as an article by Kathleen Clawson.