J Flamenco dancers and aficionados will gather in New Mexico for the 26th
Annual Festival Flamenco Internacional de Alburquerque, which begins Monday and
continues until June 16.
The festival, one of the longest-running events in Albuquerque, is considered one of the most important flamenco events outside Spain. It will offer more than 30 workshops and performances featuring artists such as Karime Amaya, Israel Galvan, Marco Flores and Ivan Vargas.
The weeklong festival is presented by the National Institute of Flamenco and will be at the National Hispanic Cultural Center on the University of New Mexico's Albuquerque campus.
The music and dance of flamenco arise from myriad influences. The dances and song are thought to have been carried by the Roma people from India to Andalusia in southern Spain, where the emerging art form was also influenced by Moors and Sephardic Jews.
The Festival Flamenco was first held in 1987 at the 50th anniversary of the University of New Mexico's College of Fine Arts. What began as a two-day celebration has grown into a one-week event that includes workshops from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily and performances every evening by the artists teaching the workshops.
Festival Flamenco attracts longtime flamenco enthusiasts, but it also can introduce people to the art. A five-hour Beginner Block introduces novices to the fundamentals of flamenco.
Other learning opportunities include music and rhythm classes, and arts and education classes such as costuming and Spanish language for flamenco lovers.
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