Xóchitl holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Business Institute Lipro de Ameca, Jalisco, Mexico. She came to the U.S. in 1984 and moved from California to New Mexico in 1993. Possess eight years of direct experience working with youth in academic settings and outreach development through former employer Santa Fe Prep; is actively involved with community advocacy groups defending, promoting and supporting Multiculturalism, Immigrant issues, and Art programs.
In 1997, she contributed to the launching of Mundo 2000, an interactive educational radio programing for Latino audience produced by Hispanic Radio Network. She won numerous awards throughout elementary and high school years in poetry recitals. Started dancing Ballet Folklorico and performing theater at 12, and became a dancer with El Centro de la Amistad Ballet Folclórico de Guadalajara; she has performed in Guadalajara, Monterrey (Mexico), Colorado and California. In 1996 under her initiative, Los Niños de Santa Fe ballet folklorico, formed The Company with LNSF original founder Janelle Ayon and presented El Milagro de Tepeyac 4 consecutive years in Santa Fe and Denver’s Auditorium. In 2011, Xóchitl instituted a cultural dance exchange program with Xopoc Academia de Danza and Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara. In 2010, co-founded Grupo Coreografico Leyendas, a group of musicians and dancers from diverse Hispanic origin that studied popular legends through music and dance. In 2012, opened Santa Fe Danceworks in partnership with Los Niños de Santa Fe Ballet Folklorico and collaborated in numerous productions of poetry and dance with Teatro Paraguas. In 2016, opened Casablanca Studios, a venue for Social Events and dance programs. Xochitl ‘s latest endeavor is the training and the choreography of Quinceañeras. A coming of age celebration in which a girl turning 15, is presented to society as young woman leaving behind her childhood years. Currently, Xochitl manages her newest venue Casablanca Studios as an accomplished Event Coordinator and choreographer for social cotillions and nuptial parties.
Collaborations: Teatro Paraguas, Compañia Chuscales & Mina Fajardo Flamenco and Micahel Roybal Ballroom.
Mina Valle Fajardo, “Mina” has received extensive training in flamenco, Escuela bolero, jazz, Tap and ballet. Mina has received flamenco training from El Guito, Carmera Greco, Ciro, La Tati, La China, Alejandro Granados, Yolanda Heredia, Isabel Bayon, Rafaela Carrasco, Pastora Galvan, Jose Maya, Ursula Lopez, Adela Campallo, Rafael Campallo, Concha Vargas, Eva La Yerbabuena, Farruquito, La Lupi, Andres Marin, Joaquin Ruiz and Keiko Issiki. She has taught in the Maria Benitez Institute for Spanish Arts, Northern New Mexico University, Santa Fe Community College, Eva Encinias Sandoval’s National Institute of Flamenco, Nava Elementary School, Sweeney Elementary School, James A Rodriguez Elementary School, Chimayo Elementary School, Carlos Vigil Middle School, The New Mexico Academy of International School, Santa Fe High School, Santa Fe Danceworks, Moving Arts Española, Maria Vazquez Flamenco Denver, The Spanish Institute of Dance in Houston, Texas, and Fazil Dance Studio & Japanese Chamber of Commerce in New York City. Fajardo has performed in Japan, New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Denver, Houston, Maryland and Albuquerque and has made several appearances on television in Manhattan, New Mexico, Japan & Spain. In Santa Fe, She has performed at the Santa Fe Opera and in the Santa Fe Jazz and International Music Festival at the Lensic Theatre. She has performed with many artists including Elena Andujar, El Pripi, La Tibu, Carmen Rasarao, Chuscales, YiYi, Silverio Heredia, Tequila de Jerez, Omayra Amaya, Jose Cortes, Manuel Gutierrez, Kina Mendez, Jose Cortes, Juan Siddi and Keiko Isshiki. She choreographed and performed in many productions including "Carmen La Golondrina" (Santa Fe, NM 2018), “The Little Match Girl” (Santa Fe, NM 2017), “Dance with Spirit” (Santa Fe, NM 2017), “Illusions in Arts “Calligraphy & Choreography” (Santa Fe, NM 2017), “Romance de la Luna “ (Santa Fe, NM, 2016), “Una Nota de Lorca” (Santa Fe, NM 2016), “Gypsy Book” (Santa Fe, NM 2015), “Flamenco Masters at Cleo Parker Robinson Theatre” (Denver, CO 2015), “Houston Spanish & Flamenco Festival 2015” (Houston, TX 2015), “Flamenco X3”(Santa Fe, NM 2015), “Gypsy Passion”(Santa Fe, NM 2014), “Flamenco Fiesta!” (Santa Fe, NM 2014 & 2013), “Forever in My Heart” (Santa Fe, NM 2013 ), “My Gypsy Soul” (Santa Fe, NM 2012), “Chuscales at Old Main, Boulder” (Boulder, CO 2011), “Chuscales y Mina Fajardo con Las Tres Mujeres” (Las Vegas. NM, 2010), “Chuscales Live at MIT” (Boston, MA 2009), Telluride Jazz Festival (Telluride, CO 2008), “Chuscales at Tubac” (Tubac, AZ 2007), “Soul del Arte Tradiciones e Innovaciones” (San Francisco, CA 2005), “Ainadamar, Landscapes and Impression” Santa Fe Opera (Santa Fe, NM 2005), “A Night of Flamenco Magic” Lakewood Cultural Center (Denver, CO 2005), “Santa Fe Jazz and International Music Festival” (Santa Fe, NM 2004 & 2001), The John E. Morlow Guitar Series “ Flamenco Night” (Chevy Chase, MD 2004), SJC Multicultural Arts Series “Flamenco” (San Juan Capistrano, CA 2003). She appeared in films “Flamenco Passion & Soul” (1999), “El Payo” (2010), “Españoles en el mundo – Nuevo Mexico” (2013). She currently teaches flamenco dance classes at Santa Fe Community College, Northern New Mexico University, Santa Fe Danceworks, Casa Blanca Studio & Moving Arts Española and performs with Chuscales, Juan Siddi & Kina Mendez, Yiyi at Local Tablao & Theater in Santa Fe, NM.
January 17, 2018 Santa Fe Art Journal by Emily Van Cleve
In the Studio With…Chuscales and Mina Fajardo For Chuscales and Mina Fajardo, the love for flamenco is a family affair
2017 Albuquerque Journal Flamenco show to depict Santa Fe history - Dance with Spirit
2017 Taos News – Blazing Flamenco http://www.taosnews.com/stories/blazing-flamenco-taosinn-taosnews,40270
2017 Albuquerque Journal Finding Connections – Flamenco meets Calligraphy https://www.abqjournal.com/979703/finding-connections.html
2017 Vally Daily Post 2015 Guitarist grew up listening to and playing flamenco rhythms in a cave https://www.abqjournal.com/570763/a-show-every-day.html?utm_source=abqjournal.com&utm_medium=related+posts+-+default&utm_campaign=related+posts
2014 Renowned flamenco guitarist found passion for music in family’s hilltop dwelling in Spain http://www.santafenewmexican.com/life/features/renowned-flamenco-guitarist-found-passion-for-music-in-family-s/article_c6356e0b-e8ac-5fd2-9d3b-6a3752c77b3a.html
2009 El Mundo Boston “Mina, Siddi offered as both a master input and coupling in Flamenco paintings, which were choreographed with great skill and ease……” 2009 Flamenco Buzz “Mina Fajardo’s talent as a dancer truly blossomed as a “flamenquita”………..” For more information, please visit https://minafajardo.com/
This was the name given to Jose Valle Fajardo by his Grandfather. Since then, the name Chusco has come to describe a guitarist of consummate skill and a profound understanding of the Flamenco traditions.
A native of Antequera, Spain, Chuscales grew up in a traditional gypsy family well known for its professional musicians and dancers. His grandmother was among those who lived in the caves of Sacromonte, one of the legendary cradles of flamenco. Chuscales recalls, "there were shows, with Gypsies from Granada who grew up in families that lived there. I wish you could see it, the families in the caves and the singing and dancing. There might be seven, eight, maybe nine caves, all with singing and dancing, and there would be more singing and dancing on the streets every day. It was unbelievable. It was very formative time in all my life. It was like a dream. This is where I learned everything — the rhythm, the beat, the guitar. I am still learning from those thousands of nights performing with my family, with my father, my grandfather, and my friends.
Chusco began guitar lessons at age six under the instruction of his uncle Joaquín Fajardo as well as Maestro Agustinillo, two prominent masters in the region where such greats as Segovia have studied. As a teenager, Chuscales found himself frequently in the company of Paco de Lucía, who often performed in the area and would take time to play with the talented youngster and to answer his questions. Meanwhile, he began his performing career as a dancer — an experience that provides him with a detailed understanding of flamenco's rhythmic nuances. Chusco elaborates as the accompanying guitarist, "I can understand and follow dancers. I can see where they are going before they take their next step. I know what the dancer is looking for, how much tension is in the music, the right rhythm, when to play strong or soft so if a dancer asks me for something, I know what they ask." Chuscales' affinity for dance is delightfully apparent in his artistry, blending music and movement as he does is no accident. "It's something we learn through life," he says. "A lot of people don't have my luck to grow up in the caves, learning flamenco in a Gypcy family where the music comes from tradition to tradition, from legend to legend. I thank God I have been around such great musicians all my life.
Whether versed in flamenco traditions or not, audiences find Chuscales' music at once touching and exotic, his presence is engaging and his skill as a guitarist, simply astounding. A Chuscales concert is an experience that audiences take with them.
He played the guitar for prince and princes of Spain at Santa Fe in 2009. He appeared in films "Camelamos Nauerar" (1976), "Gypsy Heart" (1998), "Flamenco Passion & Soul" (1999), "Viaje Al Duende" (2009),"The Spanish Table" (2010) and "El Payo" (2010), "Españoles en el mundo - Nuevo Mexico"(2013).
He received the Dora More Award for outstanding sound design/composition (2010, 2009 & 2007),
Isadora Duncan Awards, for composition, arrangement, and direction (2011 & 1997).
Photo by Allen Ruttenberg
Antonina Valdez Romp, Director and President of Los Ninos de Santa Fe Y Compania, is native of Santa Fe and has a bachelor’s degree in Education from Benedictine College.
She has been a Home School educator for elementary and high school instruction for over 14 years; and is actively involved with the community in Santa Fe. She has coaching experience in swimming, running and volleyball. Antonina started dancing folkloric since at the age of six and has performed in several professional venues at The Lensic, James A. Little, Denver Stadium, Moving People Dance, Folk Art Museum and other local school theaters. She has been the Artistic Director of LNSF since 2005. She received professional training in Mexican dance in Las Cruces, NM with Rafael Zamarripa, Tucson, AZ with La Universidad de Colima Ballet, Mexico City with Carlos Antunez of renown Ballet Folkorico de Amalia Hernandez, and Guadalajara, Mexico with La Universidad de Guadalajara and La Universidad de Autonoma Guadalajara.
Myra Krien is an international performer, choreographer and teacher. She is known for her elegant and graceful presence as well as her stylistic versatility, from traditional Egyptian (folkloric and modern) to classical tribal and contemporary fusion forms, with a strong emphasis on Flamenco and East Indian dance. A highly sought after workshop instructor and choreographer, her workshops are often described as “profound and inspirational”. She imbues her teaching with a deep respect and abiding passion for the form, strong emphasis on anatomical technique and history of the art form and culture.
Born in San Francisco, the granddaughter of Zen philosopher, Alan Watts, Krien grew up in a family of intellectuals and artists committed to higher consciousness and a worldview. From an early age she attended the Renaissance Pleasure Faires. Inspired by Jamila Salimpour’s company Bal Anat, she began her first belly dance classes along with her mother at the age of three. In the many years since she has been privileged to study with some of the greatest Middle Eastern dance artists in the field. Krien has also devoted herself to the study of jazz, modern, hip-hop, flamenco, and East Indian dance. Krien began performing at the early age of eleven and began teaching at fourteen. She went on to perform extensively throughout the Bay Area and in 1983 moved to Santa Fe, NM.
In 1996, Krien was the opening act for Sony recording artist Ottmar Liebert. Krien toured internationally, performing to sold-out audiences in some of the most prestigious theatres in the world and appeared in the PBS special “Wide Eyed and Dreaming.” Krien’s work has appeared on Japanese television and has been reviewed by national publications: Dance Magazine, the Santa Fean, and Bliss Magazine. Krien was asked to speak, perform and teach at the Ms. Foundation annual conference 2006. In 2007, the Santa Fean magazine saluted Krien for her outstanding contributions to the city of Santa Fe.
Krien has been the Founder, Director and Choreographer for five dance companies: Azadeh , 1978-1983, Awalim ,1996-1998, Mosaic Dance Company, 1998, Ahatti Apprentice Company in 2001 and Almaaz Assahara, 2006. She is the Founder/ Director/ Master Teacher for Pomegranate SEEDs® (Self-esteem, Empowerment and Education through Dance) a youth development organization. Krien is the owner and Director of Pomegranate Studios, hosting over forty classes weekly in various movement arts. She is the creator of Funk-Ex Fitness, a state-of-the-art dance fitness program. She lives in Santa Fe, NM with her husband Amalesh and son Max. Krien holds a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree from St. John’s College.
Thelma Arguello starts her musical studies at the National Institute of Fine Arts (IMBA) of Mexico City. Professional singer since 1976, has performed various musical genres as a soloist and as a member of different groups, highlighting among others the independent company Opera and Zarzuela directed by Professor Victoria Zúñiga, performing at renowned stages such as "La Sala Chopin" "Sala Nezahualcoyotl" and Manuel M Ponce Hall " of the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City. And also, she was a member of the group Quetzalcoatl, with whom she came to the U.S. In the city of Santa Fe NM founded and directed "El Mariachi PORVENIR." She is currently a member of TRIO LATINO de Santa Fe.
Discography: "Mosaico Ranchero" 1999 "Custumbres" 2002