Albuquerque’s Wall of Fame Inducts N.M. Flamenco Icon Eva Encinias-Sandoval
That New Mexico is considered one of the world’s hotbeds of Flamenco is a testament to the vision, talent and drive of Albuquerque’s Eva Encinias-Sandoval. Because of her work in bringing international renown to New Mexico for this signature Spanish dance, Encinias-Sandoval was the third-ever inductee into the Albuquerque Wall of Fame.
She received the honor in a ceremony at the Alvarado Transportation Center at 1st and Central on Sept. 1, 2015.
“Albuquerque’s Wall of Fame honors people of achievement who have contributed in a positive manner in making our community better,” said Mayor Richard J. Berry. “Eva Encinias-Sandoval has done that not only through her work as a world-renowned dancer, but also as a teacher who has influenced countless students in the ways of Flamenco from right here in Albuquerque.”
Encinias-Sandoval was born in Albuquerque. She studied flamenco at an early age from another master, her mother Clara Garcia de Aranda, an accomplished dancer and teacher in her own right. At 14, Eva was already demonstrating an aptitude and enthusiasm for teaching, as well as studying with prominent teachers throughout the United States, Mexico and Spain. By 1975, she had formed her first flamenco-based dance company, Ritmo Flamenco, with which she toured worldwide for 15 years.
In 1976, just two years after enrolling at the University of New Mexico, she was asked to teach a course in UNM’s dance program. Today, UNM has the world’s only accredited dance program offering both an undergraduate and graduate-level Flamenco concentration. Annually, about a third of UNM’s undergraduate dance majors make flamenco their study emphasis.
In 1982, Eva founded the National Institute of Flamenco in Albuquerque. She is also the Executive Director overseeing the functions and development of the Institute alongside her children Joaquin and Marisol Encinias. Among the organizations now under the Institute’s banner:
- Festival Flamenco Internacional de Alburquerque, a world-class flamenco festival;
- The Conservatory of Flamenco Arts, an internationally-recognized flamenco dance conservatory in Albuquerque’s EDo neighborhood;
- Yjastros: The American Flamenco Repertory Company;
- Alma Flamenca: a student flamenco dance company, in which many students attend classes solely through scholarships.
Thousands of dancers have been taught under Eva’s tutelage. It is because of her work and lifelong dedication to this art form that Albuquerque is widely recognized as the epicenter of flamenco in the United States.
“Just like our previous honorees, Eva’s work has brought positive worldwide attention to New Mexico,” said Bruce Rizzieri, Director of ABQ RIDE. “Her work and legend make her a logical choice to honor with a permanent place on our Wall of Fame.”