A woman in traditional, red flamenco dancewear and a man in modern street clothes dancing as part of the Raices promotional image

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The stage of the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts will see the world premieres of three new choreographies in “Raices – Yesterday is Tomorrow,” part of Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater’s 2017 American Spanish Dance & Music Festival that runs June 7-24. The annual event includes performances, classes, seminars and lectures showcasing the elegance and passion of Spain’s dance, music and culture.

“Raices,” the successor to the Ensemble’s popular “Flamenco Passion” performances, will feature more than 40 dancers and musicians including guest artists in a fusion of classical, folklore, traditional, contemporary and flamenco styles. A highlight of this year’s program will be the work of Nuevo Ballet Madrid artistic directors Angel Rojas and Carlos Rodriguez, whose premiere of “Iroko” last year was an audience favorite that also garnered critical acclaim. Between Rojas and Rodriguez, they bring three new works to this year’s program: Rojas’ “Defalla, Fuera de la Caja,” performed by Ensemble Español, and Rodriquez’s “Redobles” and “Euforia,” performed by the Ensemble and Rodriguez respectively.

“In our 41st year, Ensemble Español is in the advantageous position of having a wealth of established works in our repertoire to draw from, and a bounty of sources from within our company and the global dance community to draw on for new works,” Ensemble Español Artistic Director Irma Suárez Ruiz said. “We owe our thanks to our loyal patrons, dancers, staff, board, parents and advisory committees and our home, Northeastern Illinois University, for helping us get to this grand position. But most of all, we are thankful to our founder, Dame Libby Komaiko, for creating the company. We see the ‘Raices’ performances as a reflection of her vision then, now and for the years to come.”

In residence at Northeastern Illinois University, Ensemble Español is internationally recognized as the premier center for Spanish dance, music and culture in America. Throughout the company’s 41-year history, Ensemble Español has awarded more than 2,600 scholarships and trained more than 160 youth dancers and 90 youth apprentices to become professionals in the arts world.

Festival schedule

Duende Flamenco Music & Dance Concert
Wednesday, June 7, 8:30 p.m.

The Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
Tickets: Free
Contact: (773) 728-6000 or oldtownschool.org

Raices – Yesterday is Tomorrow
Friday, June 16 and Saturday, June 17, at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, June 18, at 3 p.m.

North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie, Blvd., Skokie
Tickets: $30-$50. Free parking is available.
Contact: (847) 673-6300 or northshorecenter.org/raices/

Spanish Dance Classes and Flamenco Master Workshops
June 19-24

Northeastern Illinois University Dance Studios, Building J
5500 N. St. Louis Ave., Chicago
Registration/more information: Festival Coordinator Joséphine DiCesare, (773) 442-5916 or G-Dicesare@neiu.edu.