| Dance |

Angelina Ramirez and Flamenco Por La Vida Present Lluvia Flamenca 2015 at Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

It’s easy to get a steady flamenco fix in metro Phoenix, thanks to Flamenco Por La Vida, the dance company founded in 2009 by Angelina Ramirez, who continues to perform with the company and serve as its artistic director.

This week, Flamenco Por La Vida presents its third Lluvia Flamenca event at the Crescent Ballroom, where their free Saturday night performances have entertained the early evening crowd for nearly three years now.

Lluvia Flamenca, which takes place from 8 to 11 p.m. on Thursday, December 3, features performances by not only Flamenco Por La Vida, but also several guest artists who hail from Spain, Japan, and other places across the United States.

Chief among them is Albuquerque-based Yjastros: The American Flamenco Repertory Company, a flamenco company directed by Joaquin Encinias.

Ramirez recalls Yjastros performing at the Herberger Theater Center many years ago, and says the company has significantly evolved since then.

“Now they have choreography from some of the most esteemed flamenco choreographers,” Ramirez says. And they present one of the world’s largest flamenco festivals.

Principal dancer Marisol Encinias will perform Thursday night with four additional dancers, as well as Yjastros singer Vicente Griego and Yjastros guitarist Calvin Hazen. Joaquin Encinias will play a cajon, a box-like percussion instrument.

Flamenco, which blends dance with vocal and musical performance, originated in Andalusia, which is located in southern Spain – but Ramirez notes that it’s prevalent today in several American cities, including Albuquerque, New York City, San Francisco, San Antonio, Santa Barbara, and Washington, D.C.

Thursday’s guest artists include Javier Heredia, a flamenco singer based in Seville, Spain – as well as dancer Rhina Motohkaw.

Local performers include La Caja Tablao – which features dancers Bernadette Gaxiola and La Lea, as well as guitarist Kris “El Cuervo” Hill.

Performance by Flamenco Por La Vida includes dancers Ramirez and Mele Martinez, singers Olivia Rojas and Macarena Giraldez, and musicians Jason Martinez (cajon) and Misael Barraza (guitar).

Ramirez says she's glad she has the opportunity to help people “get an idea of Spanish culture,” adding that performances at the Crescent Ballroom make flamenco accessible to people who might not experience it otherwise.

Noting that the word “lluvia” is Spanish for rain, Ramirez likens this production, which they’ll modify slightly for a performance the following night at the Rialto Theatre in Tucson, to a storm of more than a dozen flamenco performers.

Still, there’s one performer she’s particularly eager to welcome to the Crescent Ballroom stage. It’s Joaquin Encinias, described by Ramirez as “a really great mentor.” For a time, she danced with the company he heads.

“I’m especially excited about bringing my mentor to where I dance,” Ramirez says. “I want him to see how much he taught me,” she says, “and what we’ve built here.”

Lluvia Flamenca 2015 takes place from 8 to 11 p.m. on Thursday, December 3, at the Crescent Ballroom. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets, which cost $19 to $27, are available on the Crescent Ballroom website and at the door.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.