An iconic holiday tradition is returning to UNM’s Rodey Theatre from Dec. 15 to 17.

The National Institute of Flamenco (NIF) is inviting one and all to become immersed in a joyful and vibrant world of flamenco dance and music, villancicos (Spanish Christmas carols) Escuela Bolera, Spanish Folk Dance, and African Dance. 

La Estrella: A Flamenco Journey of the Kings’ Quest is a vivid dramatization of the Three Wise Men’s journey to the manger. It’s based on the earliest known play in Spanish titled Auto de los Tres Reyes Magos, also known as ‘Representación de los Reyes Magos.’

The show is an artistic and conceptual collaboration among NIF Founding Director Eva Encinias, NIF Executive Director Marisol Encinias, and Yjastros Artistic Director Joaquín Encinias, as well as several guest choreographers and performers from around the world. 

“The show delves into the mythical origins of the three kings, exploring the diverse lands from which they come— the Middle East, Africa, and the Occidental,”  Marisol Encinias said. “It looks at the symbolism behind the gifts the kings present to the newborn in Bethlehem beneath the guiding star, delving into the significance of gold, myrrh, and frankincense.”

‘La Estrella’ concludes with a New Mexico Flamenco version of ‘las posadas,’ recounting the story of Mary and Joseph seeking a place to rest for the night, ‘pidiendo posada.’ The production culminates in a festive celebration in Bethlehem.

La Estrella' is one of my favorite performances that we present each year,” Encinias said. “In crafting this narrative performance, I drew inspiration from my studies of early Spanish literature. This literary work is the oldest surviving dramatic text in medieval Castilian dialect, serving as a liturgical drama that unfolds the Epiphany story.”

There are over 100 student dancers and musicians including UNM’s Yjastros: The American Flamenco Repertory Company; invited guitarist Ángel Ruíz and singer Isa Jurado (both of Córdoba, Spain); invited dancer Armando Tovar from Mexico City; and a multigenerational cast of students from Albuquerque’s Conservatory of Flamenco Arts and Tierra Adentro charter school. 

Program for la estrella

This dynamic flamenco dance and music production is a delightful blend of humor, drama, passion, and joy. I believe it is an incredible holiday spectacle suitable for audiences of all ages and backgrounds,” Encinias said. “Every year tears well up as I watch this production. Perhaps it's partly due to the sense of catharsis as we conclude the year, but I genuinely believe this work is truly special! I hope you will join us for this extraordinary experience! It's a show that is not to be missed!”
Now in its 5th year, this is a beloved annual event for New Mexico families and beyond.

La Estrella" is a special production for where we are in the world right now. It is a story of mankind searching for hope and truth. No matter your faith or belief we all need to find that source of strength that keeps us keeping on,” Eva Encinias said. 

With hundreds of handmade costumes, live music, and family fun, this three-day only production is sure to be jam-packed. Tickets can be found for the two 7 p.m. performances and 2 p.m. matinee performance at UNM Tickets or the National Institute of Flamenco.