Kristina de Sacramento, founder and artistic director of Anda Flamenco Company and School, began her flamenco career while living in Paris and sneaking showers at a dance studio (her only access to that American amenity!) She would also sneak a peek at a flamenco class as she left the studios, and one night, instead of just watching, she walked into that classroom and never turned back.
Since that fateful night, Kristina returns to Spain for a month every year to study with some of Spain’s finest and brightest flamencos: Inmaculada Aguilar, Javier Barón, Ciro, Carmen Cortés, Merche Esmeralda, Alejandro Granados, Antonio Granjero, Carmela Greco, Joaquín Grilo, El Güito, Yolanda Heredia, Concha Jareño, Javier Latorre, Juanjo Linares, Manolete, Mario Maya, Inmaculada Ortega, Luis Ortega, Juan Parra, Manuel Reyes, Joaquín Ruiz, and the inimitable La Tati. She has recently begun studying cante as well, with Rafael Jimenez in Madrid and Tamara de Tañé in Jerez de La Frontera.
Kristina, along with a cast of 17, including invited guest artists as well as dancers and musicians from Anda Flamenco, produced “Señora Butterfly: A Tragic Flamenco Comedy” which premiered at the Fringe Festival in August 2012. Ironically, Anda found itself pioneering a musical fusion of Spanish classical, flamenco, and Japanese music for this comedy centered around a group of Spanish ladies who were obsessed with being geishas. The show won the coveted “Audience Pick” for its venue and staged an encore performance. Anda’s first theatrical production, “Que Será, Será: A Flamenco Comedy,” premiered at the 2002 Fringe Festival to rave reviews. The company returned to the 2004 Fringe Festival with “Doña Quixote: A Flamenco Comedy.” As well as being the Executive Director’s “featured pick” of the 2004 Fringe Festival, the advertising photo for Quixote was selected by the Wall Street Journal to represent Fringe Festivals around the world in the July 30, 2004 edition.
An enthusiastic and compassionate teacher, Kristina (aside from teaching regular classes at Anda Flamenco School) has conducted classes and workshops at the University of Minnesota; the University of Missouri, Kansas City; Elderhostal; Ballet Folklorico of Sacramento; and with the Minnesota Orchestra. She is particularly proud of “Fiesta Flamenca,” an interactive program for kids, parents, and teachers, that is in its 20th year at local schools, libraries, and museums.
Under the sponsorship of Breanna’s Gift, a foundation dedicated to bringing arts to children in hospital settings, Kristina has developed a innovative methodology for bringing the flamenco learning experience to children at Minneapolis and St. Paul Children’s Hospitals, Ronald McDonald House, and Amplatz. Kristina is also working through the Mark Morris “Dance for PD Program” at Capistrant, Bethesada’s Parkinson’s program, to pioneer work with castanets for Parkinsons’s patients in the Twin Cities. Both the patients and their partners are captivated with the challenge!
Kristina is thrilled to have an opportunity to share her love of flamenco music with a world-wide audience through her webcast on kfai.org. It’s flamenco-come-full-circle…the “music of the people” is now readily accessible to people all over the world.