DATE & TIME
Sat. June 22 at 6:00pm
X Theatre, UNM
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Yinka Esi Graves
Yinka Esi Graves is a British Flamenco dance artist, practitioner and educator whose choreographic work explores the links between Flamenco and other forms of corporeal expression in particular from an African diasporic and contemporary perspective.
Graves’ university studies are in Art History (Sussex-2005). She has dedicated the last 14 years of her life to flamenco, studying at Amor de Dios in Madrid and later in Sevilla with artists such as La Lupi, Andres Marín, Yolanda Heredia, and Juana Amaya. As a traditional Flamenco dancer, highlights in her path have been accompanying world renowned Spanish artists such as Remedios Amaya and Concha Buika.
Yinka co-founded the contemporary flamenco company dotdotdot dance in 2014. The company presented I come to my body as a question, Yinka’s reimagined Guajira with spoken word artist Toni Stuart, in SAMPLED 2017 at Sadler’s Wells and The Lowry. In 2015 Yinka began a collaborative creation with former principal Alvin Ailey dancer Asha Thomas: CLAY, this work has participated in various European festivals including Dance Umbrella’s ‘Out of the System’ in 2017 (UK) and marked the beginning of Graves’ more investigative and experimental approach to creating. Yinka is currently involved in a number of major productions Chloé Brulé and Marco Vargas’ Cuerpos Celestes and Origen and Dorothée Munyaneza’s work Mailles.
Yinka has featured in seminal film works including Miguel Angel Rosales’ award-winning documentary film: Gurumbé: Canciones de tu Memoria Negra (2016) the first Spanish film to highlight the influence its African population had on Spanish culture, particularly Flamenco. Yinka has subsequently performed alongside the film on its tours to the US, Africa, Latin America and Europe. Graves featured in Baff Akoto’s moving image piece Leaving the Edges and Pedro G. Romero and Gonzalo Garcia Pelayo’s Nueve Sevillas.
Graves’ first solo stage piece The Disappearing Act premiered at the Nimes Flamenco Festival in early 2023. This work is the culminative part of Yinka’s exploration of invisibility as a material. A process that has been articulated through short films, talks, workshops, texts and an exhibition, it will be touring in 2023-24.