Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater is excited to present its 48th Family Holiday Concert, at the Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) Auditorium, 5500 N. St. Louis Avenue, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15.
The popular program will showcase Classical, Folkloric, Escuela Bolera and Flamenco styles of Spanish dance and feature company favorites including:
• “Zapateado” (Flamenco style), a critically acclaimed company favorite set by Ensemble Español founder Dame Libby Komaiko on the very first company (1976);
• “Sur” (Flamenco/Escuela Bolera/Contemporary style) choregraphed by guest choreographer, Raquel Gomez, former principal of the National Ballet of Spain (2015);
• “El Baile De Luis Alonso” (Classical) by Ensemble Español Artistic Director Irma Suarez Ruiz (2010) and based on a one act lyrical play written by Javier de Burgos;
• Three solos:
- “Noche Sagrada / Sacred Night” (2019) by Carlos Rodriguez, co-founded Madrid's Nuevo Ballet Espanol, performed by Ensemble Español company dancer Sammi Micklewright;
-“Tangos de Triana” (2018 revived in 2022), by Carlos Rodriguez, co-founder of Madrid's Nuevo Ballet Español, inspired by La Lupi is performed by Ensemble Español company dancer Nalanie Molina;
- “Farruca” (2022) Inspired by Ensemble Español guest artists Cristian Lozano, former member of the National Ballet of Spain, the late choreographer/dancer José Barrios and Carlos Rodriguez, co-founder of Madrid's Nuevo Ballet Español performed and choreographed by Ensemble Español’s Luis Beltran.
As a special treat, audiences will see an excerpt from award-winning choreographer and former artistic director of the National Ballet of Spain, Antonio Najarro’s “Viejos Aires / Flamenco Tango.” It features a fusing of Spanish classical style and Argentinean Tango and displays the sensuality, passion and elegance of Viejos Aires. Najarro, former artistic director of the National Ballet of Spain, originally set the full-length work on own company in 2001 in Madrid. It has since garnered rave critical reviews and standing ovations in several countries. Ensemble Español’s Chicago Premiere performance of the full work will take place as part of Ensemble Español’s 2024 “Flamenco Passion” performances at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie June 7-9. “In the Ensemble Español I have found a company with great desire and enthusiasm to assimilate, face and interpret this complex work,” says Najarro. “I am sure this choreography will add a new path of artistry for the Ensemble Español Dancers.”
Tickets to Ensemble Español’s Family Holiday Evening Concert are $42.50 (Adult), $25 (Seniors) and$25 (Students and children under 12). To order tickets visit www.EnsembleEspanol.org.
In July 2025, Ensemble Español will reach its 50th year of continuous performance. In recognition of this extraordinary milestone, the company recently launched a new fundraising campaign, “Legacy in Motion, Dancing to the Future.” In addition, in anticipation of that landmark year, Ensemble Español continues to present an exciting roster of concerts, performances, classes and residencies, many reflecting the work of guest artists.
"Ensemble Español has always prided ourselves on our ability to foster relationships with guest artists from around the world,” says the company’s Executive Director/Associate Artistic Director Jorge Perez. “This season, we are taking it to a whole new level as we collaborate with more than a dozen of the most talented and respected artists in the world. This is definitely exciting for Irma, the dancers and me, however it will also have a wonderful impact on what our audiences and class participants will experience as well."
A schedule of the company’s 2023-2024 concerts, performances, classes and residencies is attached to this release. For more information, visit www.EnsembleEspanol.org. Also check out the company at Facebook at #ensembleespanolspanishdancetheater and Instagram at #ensembleespanol.
About Ensemble Español
Ensemble Español, founded in 1976 by 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, Chicago. Under the artistic direction of Irma Suarez Ruiz and executive leadership of Jorge Perez, 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. For more information on concerts, performances, classes and residencies, visit www.EnsembleEspanol.org
Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theatre in residence at Northeastern Illinois University is grateful to the following 48th Season Partners and Sponsors: Northeastern Illinois University, Interim President, Katrina Bell-Jordan, Ph.D., NEIU Department of Music and Dance, Caerus Foundation, Illinois Arts Council, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, After School Matters, Microsoft, Eugene Jarvis and Sasha Gerritson, Salme and Michael Steinberg, Sonia Florian, Frances Ufkes, Patti Eylar and Charles Gardner, Joyce Chelberg, Pamela Crutchfield, Dr. Kamala Buckner, Wintrust Bank, Gameplan Creative, FourStar Branding and the Ruth Page Center for the Arts. Thank you to our Media Sponsors: FourStar Branding, LenGar Media, Negocios Now, Chicago Latino Network, Hispanic Pro, Spanish Public Radio, HMS Media. Special thank you to the Northeastern Illinois University Board of Trustees and NEIU Foundation
Ensemble Español Concerts, Performances, Classes and Residencies
Now through June 2024
For updates and additional information visit www,EnsembleEspanol.org
“Tales of Spain” Childrens Holiday Concert
10:15 a.m., Thursday, Friday, Dec. 14, 2023
NEIU Auditorium, 5500 N. St. Louis Avenue, Chicago
For tickets or more information: www.EnsembleEspanol.org
Family Holiday Evening Concert
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, 2023
NEIU Auditorium, 5500 N. St. Louis Avenue, Chicago
For tickets or more information: www,EnsembleEspanol.org
La Lupi, Flamenco dancer and choreographer, and Curro de Maria, Flamenco guitarist
Jan. 11-3, 2024
Artists to set new Flamenco choreography “Flamenco Guajiras (Influence from Cuba) on the company to debut in the June 7-9, 2024 “Flamenco Passion” concerts of the American Spanish Dance and Music Festival at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts.
Raquel Gómez, former principal of the National Ballet of Spain
Feb. 3-11, 2024
Artist to set two duet works on the company to debut in the June 7-9, 2024 “Flamenco Passion” concerts of the American Spanish Dance and Music Festival at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts.
Elgin Community College Concert
7 p.m., Jan. 27, 2024
1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, Ill.
Featuring Guest Artists Flamenco dancer and choreographer La Lupi, Flamenco guitarist Curro de Maria, Isaac Tovar and Latin Grammy winner, percussionist, producer Diego “El Negro” Alvarez
For tickets or more information: www.eccartscenter.org/tickets
Instituto Cervantes Flamenco Festival
“Dedicated to the Flamenco Guitar”
Feb. 23–March 23, 2024
Opening performance with Ensemble Español
31 W. Ohio St., Chicago
Guest Artists and additional information to be announced.
American Spanish Dance and Music Festival June 7-15, 2024
- “Flamenco Passion” Concerts (June 7-9)
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie
Featuring company world premieres and popular works from Ensemble Espanol’s repertoire; plus guest artists including award-winning choreographer Antonio Najarro, British Flamenco dancer, practitioner and educator Yinka Esi Graves, former principal of the National Ballet of Spain Raquel Gómez, Flamenco singer/guitarist Paco Fonta, Flamenco singer, guitarist, percussionist, dancer, Jose Moreno and Flamenco guitarist David Chiriboga. Additional guest artists to be announced.
For more information: www.EnsembleEspanol.org
- Spanish and Flamenco Dance & Music Classes (June 10-15)
NEIU, 5500 N. St. Louis Avenue, Chicago
Over 40 Spanish dance and music classes in Flamenco, Classical, Escuela Bolera and Folklore.
- Black and Brown Roots of Spanish Dance Symposium (June 10-15)
With guest artists: Flamenco dancer and choreographer La Lupi, Flamenco guitarist Curro de Maria, award-winning choreographer Antonio Najarro, British Flamenco dancer, practitioner and educator Yinka Esi Graves, former principal of the National Ballet of Spain Raquel Gómez, Latin Grammy winner, percussionist, producer Diego “El Negro” Alvarez and more.
At NEIU and other locations TBA
Classes-Passport of Spain, Arte del Flamenc, Estilo De Danza Espanola, Introduction to Flamenco,
NEIU, 5500 N. St. Louis Avenue, Chicago
For schedule or more information visit www.EnsembleEspanol.org