Keep the duende alive

Pasatiempo - - Mixed Media -

The ac­co­lades heaped on dancer and chore­og­ra­pher María Benítez are as over­whelm­ing as the whirl of bata de cola skirts, the rush of man­tilla veils, and the click­ing of cas­tanets dur­ing a fla­menco per­for­mance. But af­ter you take off the make-up and fold up the fan, what stands out is Benítez’s ded­i­ca­tion to pass­ing on her love and knowl­edge of dance and other art forms. Benítez and her hus­band, Ce­cilio, es­tab­lished the In­sti­tute for Span­ish Arts in 1972, a non­profit with a mis­sion to pre­serve His­panic mu­sic, dance, the­ater, and vis­ual arts through classes and per­for­mance op­por­tu­ni­ties. At 3 p.m. on Sun­day, March 21, the In­sti­tute presents per­for­mances of Span­ish clas­si­cal, re­gional, and fla­menco dance and mu­sic by its stu­dents — in­clud­ing Fla­menco’s Next Gen­er­a­tion — and a few guest per­form­ers. It’s all part of an ef­fort to raise money for a new stu­dio space and to ben­e­fit the in­sti­tute’s schol­ar­ship and ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams. The event in­cludes a si­lent auc­tion, a cash bar, and home­cooked Span­ish and New Mex­i­can food. The fes­tiv­i­ties take place at the Scot­tish Rite Cen­ter, 463 Paseo de Per­alta. Tick­ets, $15 and $5 for chil­dren, are avail­able by call­ing 470-7828, at Kicks Dancewear (801 Cer­ril­los Road), and at the door.

Twisters: Fla­menco’s Next Gen­er­a­tion

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