Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Warrior in the Dancer -Alibi

Originally published April 9, 2015 via alibi.com

Standing in the corner of the space where the Yjastros dance company is rehearsing, beads of sweat begin to dot my hairline. By my calculations, the thermostat must be somewhere in the 180s, but Joaquin Encinias looks as cool as a cucumber. He is a cannonball of contained energy, silently watching the dancers work through their number for a moment, then suddenly shooting to his feet and clapping his hands. “Yes!”

Encinias is Yjastros' art director and one of the choreographers for their upcoming performance, XXIXth Season. Yjastros is the only dedicated touring flamenco repertory company in America. It boasts some of the greatest talents in the country and has become inextricably linked with Albuquerque's emergence as a flamenco capital. Encinias is a world-class flamenco dancer, and though I am at least a head taller than him, I get the feeling he could take me down without blinking and then dance on my head with graceful ease.

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