Wednesday June 20 10:12 am

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

ENSEMBLE ESPAÑOL HEATS UP THE NORTH SHORE CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS WITH "FLAMENCO PASSION: A TRIBUTE TO JOSE GRECO

Ensemble Español-Jose Greco II with Carmela Greco.jpg

The June 15-17 “Flamenco Passion” performances will feature more than 40 dancers, musicians including guest artists in a fusion of classical, folklore, traditional, contemporary and Flamenco styles. The first half of the program will feature a world premiere ballet by Carlos Rodriguez, “Mar de Fuego (Sea of Fire)” honoring Dame Libby in the Flamenco contemporary style. The second half of the concert will be a tribute to Jose Greco's 100th birthday directed by former Greco dancer, first dancer and founding member of the National Ballet of Spain, Juan Mata. The tribute will feature all three of Greco’s children who dance: Carmela, Jose and Lola. This will be the first time since their father was alive that they are reuniting to perform.

The performances will also conclude with Ensemble Español's critically acclaimed “Bolero,” choreographed by Founder, Dame Libby Komaiko. The New York Times observed how the work “wowed the audience,” in its review of Ensemble Español's January 2018 performances at the Joyce Theater. “Bolero” marks its 25th anniversary this year.

“Flamenco Passion: A Tribute to Jose Greco’s 100th Anniversary comes to the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, located at 9501 Skokie Blvd. in Skokie June 15-17. Performances are Friday, June 15 and Saturday, June 16 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, June 17 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20-$50 and are on sale now. Meet the Artists VIP pre-opening night reception on Friday, June 15 at 6:00pm at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts 2nd level for $65. To purchase tickets and for more information visit www.northshorecenter.org or call 847.673.6300

Under the artistic and executive leadership of Founder Dame Libby Komaiko, Artistic Director, Irma Suárez Ruiz and Executive Director, Jorge Perez, Ensemble Español is internationally recognized as the premier Center for Spanish Dance, Music and Culture in America. In 1982, Dame Libby became the first American artist in history to be decorated with Spain's highest honor "Lazo de Dama" (Ribbon of the Dame) by his Majesty Don Juan Carlos I, King of Spain for her artistic, cultural and educational work throughout the United States.

Throughout the company’s 42-year history, Ensemble Español has changed lives through their education and outreach efforts. To date it has awarded more than 2,600 scholarships, trained more than 160 youth dancers and 90 youth apprentices to become professionals in the arts world. This past season Ensemble reached over 30,000 students. Ensemble Español has been in residence at Northeastern Illinois University since 1976.

Ensemble Español “Raised in Chicago and Ready for the World!” fundraising campaign continues as the Ensemble raises funds toward a major Growth Grant by Caerus Foundation, Inc. that will help the dance company expand its arts education programs and transition to a full-time professional company over the next three to five years. The grant has the potential to raise $1.5 million through a matching campaign over the next three years. To view informational videos and for more information visit www.ensembleespanol.org/raised-chicago-ready-world/.

Festival Sponsors: Northeastern Illinois University, Wintrust Banks, Caerus Foundation Inc., Chicago Community Trust, Illinois Arts Council, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, The Prince Charitable Foundation, José Greco Foundation, Ministerio de Educacion, Cultura y Deporte, FICYT and Argo, Holiday Inn, Enterprise Car Rental.

Media Sponsors: Univision, Comcast, La Raza, Spanish Public Radio, Hispanic Pro, Negocios Now and Univision.

Festival Collaborators: FourStar Branding, Instituto Cervantes, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, International Latino Cultural Center, Chicago Dance Supply, Chicago Tourist Office of Spain, 90 Miles Cuban Restaurant, Emilios Spanish Tapas Restaurant, Studio Mangiameli, Flamenco Arts Center, Clinard Dance Theater and Flamenco Chicago LLC.