El Flamenco Spanish Cabaret is back in action and invites you downtown

At the corner of Palace Avenue and Grant Avenue, you’ll find El Flamenco Spanish Cabaret, formerly known as El Flamenco de Santa Fe. Atop an inconspicuous staircase above WOW! Gallery, the company’s location is easy to miss—but when you cross over the threshold, the folks in charge want to ensure you’re stepping into one of the most authentic Spanish experiences in the Southwest.

“It’s always had the culture [of Spain] there. People are immersed in Andalusian cuisine and dance, at the same level you’d find in the south of Spain,” says Stephanie Ramirez, co-director and spokeswoman for El Flamenco. “We have the only Spanish flamenco director from Andalusia—the birthplace of flamenco—in the United States.”

The company traces its roots to Spain, where Director Antonio Granjero was born—in Jerez de la Frontera, itself considered the birthplace of flamenco—and spent much of his career. From Boston to New Orleans to Texas, Granjero boasts multiple accolades earned through the decades, including performing for Queen Elizabeth II. Ramirez has similar résumé points, including performing at the Royal Albert Hall in London before a high-profile dance career in the states. And now, for the first time in a year, the pair is opening their doors to the public. In our increasingly vaccinated community, El Flamenco Spanish Cabaret will begin holding performances Friday and Saturday evenings at 6:30 with hopes of expanding to five nights a week as the usual peak summer season -approaches—assuming Santa Fe’s public health orders remain relaxed.

“We’re following all the safety concerns, and then some,” Ramirez explains. “This is our ten-year anniversary in Santa Fe, and it’s an exciting year trying to rebuild. We’re just happy to be back after having our doors closed. We’ve suffered a lot in the past year, and we’ve got a lot of challenges to go through, but we want people to come and support the local arts community.”

Throughout the past year, El Flamenco managed to stay afloat with emergency funding from the New Mexico Arts CARES Act and the city’s Arts and Culture Department. The company offered free remote classes for children and worked with the ArtWorks organization to help Santa Fe Public Schools teach flamenco to students. For now, though, Ramirez wants to remind Santa Feans of El Flamenco’s history in the community, including a 2017 Mayor’s Arts Award, and to recall the company’s pre-pandemic efforts.

“We’re asking the community to continue to consider supporting us,” Ramirez says. “We’re doing our darndest to make sure everyone has a safe experience.” (Riley Gardner)

El Flamenco Spanish Cabaret’s Spring Season: 6:30 pm Friday, April 30 and Saturday, May 1. $25-$40, 6:30 pm. El Flamenco de Santa Fe, 135 W Palace Ave., 209-1302

Civility

Folks might not be aware that New Mexico played a pivotal role during the Civil War, and that countless bits of history are still revealing themselves as the years roll by. This week, at the Historic Santa Fe Foundation’s El Zaguán space on Canyon Road, author Richard Miller digs into one such chapter in a virtual talk—that of Col. John P. Slough, who, despite all odds and reportedly terrible planning skills, played a role in the Union victory at Glorieta Pass. Miller’s new book, John P. Slough: The -Forgotten Civil War General, digs into the fateful tale of near-misses, Colorado Volunteers and the things that might have been had fate not intervened. This is a great one for dads out there. (Alex De Vore)

Salon El Zaguan with Richard Miller: 3 pm Thursday, April 29. By donation (free for members), historicsantafe.org

Poetic Supergroup

The minds behind mobile art space Axle Contemporary join forces with Santa Fe Poet Laureate Elizabeth Jacobson, YouthWorks, Santa Fe Community Screenprinting and the New Mexico School for the Arts for Everything Feels Recent When You’re Far Away, a cadre of 60 high school student-poets whose works intersect with screenprinting, clothing, photo portraits and more. The whole shebang has been transformed into a book by the same name from Axle Contemporary Press, and you can catch special events at Axle’s art truck and the Railyard Performance Center in a mask-mandated, appropriately distanced way. You can get the book now for $14 through collectedworksbookstore.com. (ADV)

Everything Feels Recent When You’re Far Away: 5-8 pm Friday, April 30. Free. Santa Fe Railyard, Paseo de Peralta and Guadalupe St., axleart.com

Slow Ride

With COVID-19 still maintaining its grip on public gatherings, the same people who’ve brought you Lowrider Day in Santa Fe since 2016 take the show to the Santa Fe Place mall, where over a dozen artists show their lowrider-inspired works and the parking lot becomes a sea of the sickest rides from near and far. The New Mexico Lowrider Arte and Culture exhibit has been months in the making and will run throughout May—it might even spill further into June if organizer Casey Montoya has his way. “We’re trying to do a changeout at the end of the month,” he says, signifying a new batch of art and cars as summer rolls on. “We’re also trying to organize a big cruise.” If there’s something more Santa Fe than that, we’ve never heard of it. (ADV)

New Mexico Lowrider Arte and Culture Exhibit: All day through May. Santa Fe Place Mall, 4250 Cerrillos Road, facebook.com/nmlowriderarte