Pedro Córdoba, born in 1978, in Sabadell (Barcelona), begins dancing at an early age. His initial training consists of intensive study in the forms of Classical Ballet, Bolera, Clásico Español, Spanish Regional, and Contemporary Dance in the school of Pastora Martos. Later, Córdoba pursues and receives a degree and professional license from the Instituto de Teatro, which certifies him as a professional Spanish Dancer. At the same time, Córdoba studies Flamenco under artists such as La Tani, Manuel Nuñez, Antonio Canales, and Javier Latorre etc. Córdoba has performed on two occasions in the illustrious flamenco festival of Sevilla, Spain, La Bienal de Sevilla, where he was featured in the Ciclo de Jóvenes. Córdoba was also invited to present and evening of his work at the festival in Granada, Spain, El Corral del Carbon. Pedro Córdoba currently lives in Madrid where he directs and performs with his company, performs in the tablaos of the city, and teaches both nationally and internationally.
BELÉN DE LA QUINTANA
Belén De la Quintana, born in Madrid in a family of artists, began her training in ballet, bolera and danza española in the academy of her parents, Santiago de la Quintana and Maria José Benitez. De la Quintana is a member of the Pedro Cordoba Company. They recently performed the work “Del dos mil y pico” in Madrid’s Festival Original (2014), Festival de Jerez (2016), and the Festival Flamenco Albuquerque (2016, USA). De la Quintana also is renowned for her costume and fashion design in flamenco. She currently designs flamenco attire for dance companies and for flamenco’s best artists.
Alejandro Granados, a native of Madrid, is one of today’s most accomplished flamenco artists. Granados worked as a ballet soloist in the Ballet de Zaragoza from 1983-1984 and the Spanish Ballet of Madrid in which he performed primary roles in the works "Yerma" and "El Amargo" by F. Garcia Lorca during the 1985-1987 seasons, and was a soloist in the National Ballet of Spain from 1987-1988. Granados branched out as a choreographer in the late 1980’s, creating works for various dance companies around the world, such as the Yoko Komatsubara Baile Flamenco Company in Japan and the Company of Soledad Barrio in New York City. Granados also presented his work "A Nuestro Aire" in festivals and theaters throughout Spain and at the Festival Flamenco de Alburquerque.
Born into one of the few flamenco families in America, Encinias learned flamenco as a way of life from his grandmother Clarita and mother Eva Encinias. He began his first lessons in flamenco from his grandmother, Clarita, and began performing at age five. By age 12, he became a soloist in his mother’s company, Ritmo Flamenco. Encinias has had the tremendous opportunity to work closely with world-renowned artists including Antonio Canales, Eva La Yerbabuena, Los Farrucos, and Manolete, Carmen La Talegona, and Mercedes Amaya. In 1999, he worked with director Debbie Allen in the production Soul Possessed, which premiered at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Encinias has also been a featured as a solo artist in Festival Flamenco Internacional de Albuquerque. Also, in 1999, The National Conservatory of Flamenco Arts opened under the direction of Encinias, his mother Eva, and sister Marisol. Since that time, Encinias has developed his unique teaching framework, the only codified and copy-written flamenco teaching methodology in the United States. As Artistic Director of Yjastros: The American Flamenco Repertory Company, Encinias has amassed a dance repertory collection of over 20 pieces of original flamenco choreography from some of the most influential flamenco artists in the world. Encinias’ vision for Yjastros is to preserve the beauty of traditional flamenco while imbuing it with a unique American aesthetic and energy. Through Yjastros, Encinias has been able to redefine flamenco choreography by truly understanding flamenco movement, having an innovative and visionary use of space, and demonstrating profound fluency in flamenco musical composition. Encinias has begun a new generation of artistry though his innovation and dedication to the art form. Today, he is one of the most highly sought-after flamenco artists and instructors in the nation because of his unique exposition of technique and craft. His musical talent and deep understanding of the language of flamenco make him an exceptional and valuable instructor and choreographer. In the fall of 2010, Joaquin was instrumental in the development of Tierra Adentro: The New Mexico School of Academics; Art and Artesania. Serving grades 6 – 12, Tierra Adentro is a free public charter school whose mission is to create an inclusive, thriving learning environment comprised of a demographically and culturally diverse student population. Focused on academics, art, artesanía (artisanship), and the study of the cultures that comprise our rich New Mexican heritage, Tierra Adentro strives for awareness, preservations, and the progression of our cultural legacy.
As a fourth-generation flamenco dancer, Marisol is one of the few American flamenco dancers raised in a family of artists. Her artistic interpretation, stunning in its depth and veracity, arises from Marisol’s immersion in the art from childhood. Marisol began her training with her family, studying with her grandmother, Clarita García de Aranda, and eventually dancing in her mother’s dance company, Ritmo Flamenco. Marisol currently performs as a Principal Dancer with Yjastros: the American Flamenco Repertory Company, and is recognized for her excellence in performing. Marisol holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in choreography from the University of New Mexico. Marisol is a founder of the Conservatory of Flamenco Arts, where she has taught since its establishment in 1999. She became a member of the University of New Mexico Dance Program faculty in 1998, where she has been instrumental in shaping its’ flamenco curriculum. Marisol is also an Associate Director of the National Institute of Flamenco, an arts organization dedicated to promoting and presenting flamenco, alongside her mother Eva and brother Joaquin.
Raúl Levia Amador started his singing career at the flamenco club “Tablao El Carmen” in Barcelona and later moved to the flamenco clubs “El Cordobés,” “Los Tarantos,” “Palacio del Flamenco,” and “El Patio Andaluz,” the most important tablaos in Barcelona. He toured Germany with the singer Ginesa Ortega and the guitarist Jerónimo. He also toured with the renown Miguel Poveda, for whom he sang backup vocals. Upon moving to Mexico, Mr. Levia performed in the Teatro Juárez in Mexico City, again with singer Miguel Poveda, and later with guitarist Chicuelo. Levia worked with singer Duquende and the guitarist Chicuelo in the recording and live concerts of the album “Mi forma de vivir”. He also worked with guitarist Chicuelo in the recording and live concerts of the album “Diapason”. Recently, Levia performed at the Expo Zaragoza with singer Montse Cortés where they performed material from her latest album “La Rosa Blanca”. He is also recognized for his ability to sing for dancers. Levia has shared the stage with great artists like Rafael del Carmen, Alfonso Losa, Pedro Córdoba, Concha Jareño, Olga Pericet, Ana Salazar, Carlos Carbonel, El Toleo and La Tolea.
From Dixon/Embudo, NM, Vicente has devoted his life to the study of Cante Flamenco, the art of flamenco singing. In 1992, Vicente began touring the US, Canada, and Latin America with the Jose Greco II Flamenco Dance Company, where he was mentored by Caño Roto singer, Alfonso Gabarri,“El Veneno” of Madrid, Spain. He sings for Yjastros, the American Flamenco Repertoire Company out of AlbuRquerque and tours nationally and internationally year round. Vicente Griego is currently presenting the musical group ReVoZo.
A resident of Madrid, Spain Calvin Hazen has been a professional guitarist for over 20 years. He has performed at the most famous flamenco tablaos (Las Carboneras, Las Tablas, El Corral de la Moreria, etc.) alongside some of the most important artists (Jeronimo Maya, Joaquin Ruiz, Belen Lopez, Carmen “La Talegona”, Manuel Linan, David Paniagua, Eva Duran etc…). He has performed at some of the most prestigious theatres in Spain, the U.S. as well as internationally where his performances have enjoyed enthusiastic critical acclaim. Calvin has worked as musical director and composer for numerous companies including Suite Espanola, Carlota Santana Flamenco Vivo and Maria Benitez Teatro Flamenco. Recording credits include “El Pintor”, in Madrid, Spain and “Ni Mucho Ni Poco” (with singer, “El Yiyi”), in Santa Fe, N.M for both of which Calvin worked as composer and co-producer. Television appearances include the Tonight Show, Good Morning America and The Regis and Kathy Lee Show. Calvin is very pleased to be returning to Festival Flamenco where he has taught and performed for several years.
In 2000, Mario Febres was introduced to the art of flamenco guitar, its history, and development. His studies beagan in Baltimore, Maryland with Paul Villmoare. During the spring and summer of 2006, Mario worked with Maria Benitez teaching a children guitar class and performing with her youth company, Flamenco's Next Generation. In the fall of that same year, Mario became a part of Yjastros, the American Flamenco Repertory Company. Today, Mario continues to perfect his work in flamenco guitar under the guidance of Chuscales and Calvin Hazen, teaches at the charter school Tierra Adentro, and continues to work with the Yjastros Company.