Flamenco students in The University of New Mexico's Department of Theatre and Dance will showcase their talents when they perform Las Horas Contadas by UNM Visiting Artist Marco Flores at the 2023 Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival. This marks the first time UNM students will perform at this esteemed dance festival.
Founded in 1933, the Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival has established itself as a cornerstone of dance excellence in the United States. Situated in the beautiful Berkshires of western Massachusetts, the festival has a rich history of highlighting exceptional dance performances from premier companies such as Twyla Tharp, Ailey, and the Martha Graham Dance Company. Its stages have witnessed the brilliance of world-class dancers and choreographers, earning it designation as a National Historic Landmark and a recipient of the National Medal of Arts.
Las Horas Contadas, choreographed by Flores, premiered during Monstro/us: UNM's Faculty Dance Concert. Drawing inspiration from Pablo Picasso's masterpiece, Guernica, and the haunting aftermath of war, the piece delivers a sophisticated and intricate portrayal of the turmoil experienced in war-torn Spain. The performance captivates audiences and transports them to a world ravaged by conflict.
The selection of Las Horas Contadas for the Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival is a tremendous honor, as it positions the UNM Department of Theatre and Dance as top-tier dance program in the nation, noted Madrone Matishak, Theatre and Dance marketing representative. Only 30 works were chosen out of a pool of over 300 submissions for the National College Dance Conference, and with the invitation to Jacob’s Pillow, cements UNM's place in the top 2 percent of collegiate dance programs. This recognition speaks to the exceptional talent and dedication of the UNM dancers and the Department of Theatre and Dance’s commitment to pushing artistic boundaries.
"Through the vision and determination of Professor Emeritus Eva Encinias the Flamenco concentration was founded at UNM and blossomed to be a pivotal element of college dance forms in the United States,” said Donna Jewell, head of the Department of Theatre and Dance. “The Flamenco area in the Department of Theatre and Dance pushes the national and international dialogue about the art form and, under the direction of Assistant Professor Marisol Encinias, continues to pursue excellence in performance and research. As college dance programs change in this country, expressions of multiple cultures on stage are vital to the field."
UNM is a leading institution for higher education, renowned for its commitment to academic excellence and its diverse range of programs. The UNM Department of Theatre and Dance is the only higher education institution in the world that offers a concentration in Flamenco and is dedicated to cultivating a deep appreciation for the art of flamenco and nurturing the talents of aspiring dancers so they can have rich, fulfilling careers in dance.
Las Horas Contadas will perform at the Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival Aug. 17 at the Henry J. Leir Stage in Becket, Mass. This momentous occasion promises to be a remarkable gathering of exceptional dancers, choreographers, and dance enthusiasts, showcasing the very best in dance today, of which the UNM Department of Theatre and Dance is thrilled to be a part, Matishak said.