Sat, 10/16/2021 - 7:30pm to 10:00pm


This Finale Performance of Ensemble Español’s 45th Anniversary Season Is Also the First Performance of the Auditorium Theatre’s “Made in Chicago” Dance Series

Program Features Flamenco World Premieres by Grammy Winner Nino de los Reyes, Wendy Clinard’s Tangos De Granada, Dame Libby Komaiko’s Iconic Bolero, and More 

Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater | October 16 @ 7:30PM

American Ballet Theatre

Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, in residence at Northeastern Illinois University, returns to the Auditorium Theatre at 7:30PM on Saturday, October 16, 2021. Celebrating the finale performance of its 45th anniversary “Zafiro Flamenco (Sapphire Flamenco): New Era, New Works, New Legacies” season, the Chicago-based Ensemble Español has been hailed for “its grand theatricality, precision-tooled technique, and flamenco-based fire” (Chicago Tonight).

This performance is the first presented performance since the theatre closed in March of 2020, and opens the Auditorium’s 2021-2022 Season. It is the first program in the Auditorium’s “Made in Chicago” Dance Series. The performance will also be the kick-off event of Instituto Cervantes’ Chicago Flamenco Festival 2021.

“Over 17 months ago, we presented our last live performance on our historic stage. On October 16, we are excited to open our doors once again with the celebrated Chicago dance company Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater,” said Auditorium Theatre CEO Rich Regan. “We invite all of Chicago to this grand re-opening as we continue our 131-year journey as one of the city’s premier cultural institutions.”

“We’re proud to open the Auditorium Theatre after its long closure," says Irma Suarez Ruiz, Ensemble Español Artistic Director. “For 45 years the company has been creating dance and performing in this great city. A concert is an ideal way to celebrate this achievement.” 

“This is the 15th time we’ve performed on the Auditorium Theatre stage,” says Jorge Perez, Ensemble Español Executive & Associate Artistic Director. “We are always grateful when we perform here, knowing the unparalleled opportunity a performance here means to connect with Chicago audiences as one of the cities very own international cultural treasures."

The program for the October 16 engagement will open with Tangos de Granada (2021) choreographed by Chicago’s own Wendy Clinard, the Artistic Director of Clinard Dance. The program also features two world premieres of Ensemble Español Company works: Ritmo de la Tierra (Rhythm of the Earth) (Martinete), and Al Golpe (Jaleos) choreographed by Nino de los Reyes, the first dancer to ever win a Grammy. Reyes is also showcased as performer in two solo works: Farruca (2021) and the world premiere of Lo Que Los Ojos No Ven (What the Eyes Cannot See) also choreographed by de los Reyes. 

Other program works include the folkloric suite Viva Galicia (2007) by Paloma Gomez and Christian Lozano, and popular works from the company’s repertoire including: Horizonte (2018) choreographed and performed by Company dancer Monica Saucedo; Sevilla (2019) featuring Ensemble Español Artistic Director Irma Suarez Ruiz on castanets; Defalla, Fuera de la Caja (Defalla, Out of the Box) (2017) by Angel Rojas; Pasion Oculta (Hidden Passion) (2019) by Artistic Director Ruiz; Entre Dos Almas (Between Two Souls) (1998), choreographed and performed by Ruiz and Perez; and the company’s signature work, Bolero (1993) choreographed by Company Founder Dame Libby Komaiko.

Musical guest artists performing in the program include: Flamenco singer/guitarist Paco Fonta (Jaen/Miami); singer, guitarist, and percussionist José Moreno (Madrid, Malaga, New York); Flamenco guitarist David Chiriboga (Ecuador/Chicago) classical guitarist Brian Torosian (Chicago); and Percussionist Javier Saume-Mazzei (Venezuela/Albuquerque).

Performance Information

Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, in residence at Northeastern Illinois University, performs at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Parkway, as part of the “Made in Chicago” Dance Series at 7:30PM on Saturday, October 16, 2021.


Individual tickets start at $25 and are available online here, by phone at 312.341.2300, or in person at the Auditorium Theatre Box Office (50 E. Ida B. Wells Drive). Tickets are available now as part of the Auditorium Theatre’s “Made in Chicago” Dance Series, which offers a 20% discount and also includes Deeply Rooted Dance TheaterTrinity Irish Dance Company, and Giordano Dance Chicago. Discounts for groups of 10 or more people are also available.

The Auditorium Theatre offers $15 student rush tickets to full-time college students and $5 tickets to young people ages 13-19 with Urban Gateways’ Teen Arts Pass program. The Auditorium Theatre’s ADMIT ONE program offers complimentary tickets to Chicago-area community groups.

The Auditorium Theatre is implementing current COVID-19 safety protocols at each show, as well as implementing a flexible return and exchange policy so you can purchase tickets without worry. For tickets or more information, visit

The 2021-22 Auditorium Theatre “Made in Chicago” Dance Series is supported by the Florian Fund (Season Dance Sponsor), Joyce Chelerg, Pamela Crutchfield, and Patti Eylar & Charlie Gardner.


About Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theater

Ensemble Español, is a not-for-profit arts organization. Ensemble Español, founded in 1976 by artistic director Dame Libby Komaiko, is the premiere Spanish dance company and center in the U.S. with a professional and unique residency at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. Under the artistic direction of Irma Suarez Ruiz and executive leadership of Jorge Perez, company successors, the Ensemble continues its mission of preservation, presentation and promotion of Spanish dance and culture which also includes the exploration of the country’s history in the Flamenco, Folkloric, Classical, and Escuela Bolera styles and identifies its influence on Latin American art and dance in both traditional and contemporary formats. They forge ahead as the leaders in Spanish dance and culture with a commitment to our communities, via performances, education, school residencies, academic university programs, festivals, and tours. They remain committed to their roots in education and mission of educational, artistic, and social development. Their incredibly rich history includes; serving over 30,000 students annually, training over 90 company dancers, training over 160 Youth Company dancers from ages 12 to 18, over 90 international guest artists and musicians from Spain and the Americas, over 2,600 scholarships awarded to talented aspiring dancers, musicians and educators, tours and residencies of U.S., including Hawaii, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Poland, Australia, Canada, China, and Spain.

Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, in residence at Northeastern Illinois University, is grateful to the following 45th Season Partners and Sponsors: Northeastern Illinois University, Prince Charitable Foundation and the MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, Illinois Arts Council, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Home Depot, After School Matters, Microsoft, Helen Brach Foundation, Enterprise, Eugene Jarvis and Sasha Gerritson, Sonia Florian, Gameplan Creative, FourStar Branding, Instituto Cervantes, Stonewolf Studios, Dovetail Dance Studios, and Clinard Dance Theater. Thank you to our “$45 for 45” campaign donors and additional thanks to the 45th Season Media Sponsors: La Raza, Negocios Now, Comcast, Hispanic Pro, Spanish Public Radio, HMS Media, See Chicago Dance and Maisonet Photography. 

About The Auditorium Theatre

The Auditorium Theatre, located at 50 E. Ida B Wells Dr. at Roosevelt University in Chicago, is an Illinois not-for-profit organization committed to presenting the finest in international, cultural, community, and educational programming to all of Chicago and beyond as The Theatre for the People. The theater opened on Dec. 9, 1889 and is committed to the continued restoration and preservation of this National Historic Landmark. 

The Auditorium Theatre 2021-2022 Season is made possible in part with support from The Florian Fundthe John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Palmer House Hilton. The Auditorium Theatre also acknowledges support from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

For a complete listing of events at the Auditorium Theatre, please visit