‘Festival Flamenco’ alive despite studio fire

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — It’s been six months since a fire destroyed the downtown flamenco building, but that hasn’t stopped the dancers from doing what they love.

The National Institute of Flamenco is still holding its annual festival this year. The only difference is the festivities have just been moved.

“It’s just so wonderful to see how excited people are about the art form and that it is alive and well in Albuquerque,” Eva Encinias Sandoval, director of the National Institute of Flamenco said.

The flare and firepower of Flamenco is still strong in the Duke City.

“Festival Flamenco is a celebration of this beautiful art form,” Encinias Sandoval said.

Now in its 27th year, Festival Flamenco celebrates the centuries old tradition.

But late last year, it looked as though the party had its last dance.

“When it happened, we were devastated,” Encinias Sandoval said. “We lost everything in the fire.”

In December, flames tore apart the National Institute of Flamenco near 2nd and Gold.

Inside were costumes, records and years of memories.

“It was so near and dear to us,” Encinias Sandoval said. “But because we lost our building, doesn’t mean we can’t do what we love so much.”

“We knew that we could not suspend the festival.”

And suspend it they would not.

Using the Carlisle Gym at the University of New Mexico, the performance plays on, with people from all across the country and world taking part.

“This is my third year and I enjoy it a lot,” 12-year-old Aylin Lezezma said, who came all the way from San Antonio with her dance group Fandango. “I meet new artists every year and see the shows. It’s very inspiring.”

Festival Flamenco has brought in more than 35 artists from Spain this year to lead workshops and classes.

The festival runs through the June 18 at UNM and the National Hispanic Cultural Center.

As for the cause of the fire, the Albuquerque Fire Department says they’re still waiting on evidence tests to come back.

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