Kristina de Sacramento, founder and artistic director of Anda Flamenco, began her flamenco career, ironically, while living in Paris in 1987. After sneaking showers at a dance studio (her only access to that favorite American amenity), she would also sneak a peek at a flamenco class on her way out. One night, instead of just watching, she walked into the classroom and never turned back.
Since that fateful night, Kristina founded her own school in 1995, and has been teaching group and private classes ever since. In 1999, Kristina formed "Las Zapatistas," which Anda now claims was the FIRST FLASH MOB! The concept of the Zaps was to perform what Kristina called "guerilla flamenco" - 3-minute snippets of flamenco that would appear whenever and wherever flamenco was least expected - on street corners, in parking lots, in grocery stores - making the passion and beauty of flamenco accessible beyond the theater. In 2002, Kristina established her professional performing company which was combined with her school to become Anda Flamenco Company & School. In 2008 Kristina began working with Breanna's gift, a nonprofit that brings art experiences to children hospitalized with serious illnesses. Since 2009, Kristina has been creating and engineering a weekly webcast of flamenco music, news, and interviews entitled "Poquito y Bueno" for KFAI Community Radio. In 2010 Kristina developed a program with Bethesada for teaching castanets to people with Parkinson's Disease. Kristina believes that the pride and self-respect at the base of flamenco are valuable lessons to pass onto the community.
In addition to being artistic director, choreographer, principal dancer, and teacher with Anda Flamenco, Kristina was a soloist for nearly 20 years with Maria Elena "La Cordobesa's "Rincón del Flamenco." Rincón performed regularly for 10 years at the Loring Bar, and later at Babalú and Nochee in Minneapolis, and even flew to California for its Hollywood premiere at the Ebell Theater! In a career that spans nearly three decades, Kristina has performed locally at the American History Theater, Hennepin Center for the Arts, Southern Theater, O’Shaugnessey Auditorium, Macalester and Augsburg Colleges, the University of Minnesota Rarig Center, Theatre Garage, Intermedia Arts, Orchestra Hall, Teatre de la Juene Lune, Pantages Theatre. Further from home, she’s been seen at the Missouri Governor’s Mansion; the International Dance Festival in Branson, Missouri; La Solea in Madrid, Spain; and the house of García Lorca in Fuente Vaquero, Spain (in celebration of Lorca’s 100th Birthday). She was even featured as the “clatter in your car engine” in a motor oil television commercial!
Anda's first theatrical production, “Que Será, Será: A Flamenco Comedy,” premiered at the 2002 Minneapolis Fringe Festival to rave reviews. The company returned to the 2004 Fringe Festival with “Doña Quixote: A Flamenco Comedy,” which was the executive director’s featured pick of the Festival. The advertising photo for the performance was selected by the Wall Street Journal to represent Fringe Festivals around the world in a full-page story in the July 30, 2004, edition. In Produced in 2012, “Señora Butterfly: A Flamenco Comedy” became Anda's third Fringe show, and was awarded one of fifteen audience picks for the Festival which won it an encore performance! Coming up next - "Age-Progressed: West Side Story."
Kristina has studied with some of Spain’s finest and brightest flamencos: Javier Barón, Ciro, Matilde Coral, Jose Correia, Carmen Cortés, Merche Esmeralda, Alejandro Granados, Antonio Granjero, Carmela Greco, Joaquín Grilo, El Güito, Yolanda Heredia, Javier Latorre, Juanjo Linares, Manolete, Mario Maya, Inmaculada Ortega, Luis Ortega, Joaquín Ruiz, and the inimitable La Tati. Stateside, she has studied with Susana di Palma, María Benitez, La Tania, and visiting master teachers in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Chicago, San Francisco, and New York City. She returns frequently to study with her Paris mentor, Patricio Martin, and annually to Spain, where she continues to study both time-honored and new styles with the leading “figuras” of the day. Kristina believes a dancer is never done learning.
An enthusiastic and compassionate teacher, Kristina has also conducted classes and workshops at the University of Minnesota; the University of Missouri, Kansas City; Elderhostal; Ballet Folklorico of Sacramento; and the Minnesota Orchestra. She has received many cudos for “Fiesta Flamenca,” an interactive program for kids, parents, and teachers, that is in its 15th year at local schools, libraries, and museums.
Having lost our beloved flamenco singer, Maria Elena "La Cordobesa," Kristina is now trying to learn flamenco singing ("cante") as well. She has begun studies with Falo in Madrid and Tamara Tañe in Jerez. She has also taken classes with Vicente Griego of New Mexico. Kristina agrees wholeheartedly with the words of flamenco guitarist Pedro Cortes of New York, "Flamenco without the cante is merely 'fla'!"