La Emi started studying flamenco with the María Benítez Institute for Spanish Arts (ISA) when she was four years old, her passion for the art of flamenco continued to grow and she went on to study intensively in Spain with Gala Vivancos, Carmela Greco, La Popi and many others. Launched in 2014, this dynamic company is comprised of an ensemble of local and international artists, dancers, and musicians. La Emi began her professional career with Heritage Hotels & Resorts in partnership with the National Institute of Flamenco in the summer of 2018 and founded her non-profit EmiArteFlamenco Academy in 2019, where she continues to teach and is the Executive Director.
Gabriel Lautaro Osuna was born into a family of artists and musicians in New Mexico and began playing as a child. His first teacher was New Mexico legend Cipriano Vigil. Gabriel later studied with some of the greatest flamenco guitar masters both locally and in Spain including Chuscales, El Entri, El Viejín, Ramón Jiménez, Pedro Cuadra, Rafael Habichuela, Juan Maya Marote, Miguel Angel Cortés and David Marín. He has performed extensively in the United States and abroad.
Born in 1998 in Albuquerque, Eloy began studying flamenco with the opening of Tierra Adentro de Nuevo México charter school in 2010. Shortly after, he received a scholarship to the National Institute of Flamenco’s Conservatory of Flamenco Arts. Since then, Eloy has dedicated himself to studying flamenco guitar while pursuing a degree in liberal and interdisciplinary arts at The University of New Mexico. He performs professionally in tablaos and theater productions nationally and throughout New Mexico.
Javier is from Caracas, Venezuela. Javier has performed with Rhonda Richmond, Cassandra Wilson, and Badi Assad. He has performed and recorded with the Grammy and Latin Grammy Award-nominated Sones de Mexico Ensemble, national and international concerts, master classes, and residencies in Beijing, China, The Kennedy Center, and Carnegie Hall. Since 2010, he has played with Ensemble Español and People’s Music School. Javier moved to Albuquerque in 2018 to join Yjastros: The American Flamenco Repertory Company.
Cienna Chavez is a dancer, artist, and performer at heart. She was born and raised in Albuquerque and started dancing at Tierra Adentro of New Mexico and The National Institute of Flamenco, where she learned flamenco was her calling. She has been a part of groups such as Niños and Teeños Flamencos and Young Flamenco Philanthropists. In these groups, she performed for the community and raised money for young dancers to study flamenco. In her years of training, she has learned danza española, escuela bolera, jota, and ballet alongside studying flamenco. She has worked with dozens of guest artists; the one that influenced her the most was Hugo López due to his ability to dance freely and genderless, aspects she wants to incorporate in her art.
Photo Credit: Joel Wigelsworth
Janira Cordova started dancing at the age of five with Baile Español, a folklorico group in Santa Fe. Soon thereafter, she discovered flamenco and began studying under María Benítez at the Institute for Spanish Arts. By age 8, Janira joined Flamenco’s Next Generation group, a youth company through the Institute of Spanish Arts. As she continued to perform and cultivate her passion for flamenco, Janira studied under well-known artists, such as Adela Clara, Juan Siddi, José Junco, Antonio Granjero, Ileana Gómez, and many others. Later, Janira performed and studied under Mina Fajardo and Chuscales in Santa Fe. Janira has taught at EmiArteFlamenco Academy and holds a master’s degree in special education from Arizona State University, and is presently working in Santa Fe with children with autism.
Tessa Torres grew up in a family of musicians and performers who sparked her interests in the arts. At age five, inspired by watching her mother, aunt, and cousins on stage, she began dancing under the direction of her aunt, Sonya Casillas, with the San Antonio, TX Parks and Recreation Department's dance program. There, she joined the city's pre-professional youth troupe, Fandango, where a greater knowledge for learning and performing flamenco and folklorico was fostered for 7 years. Tessa has since moved to New Mexico, where she's furthered her studies at UNM and the National Institute of Flamenco.