Ensemble Español dancers rehearse in the dance studio

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events will present “International Passion: A Panel Discussion” featuring an international roster of leaders in Spanish dance.

The free event will take place at 12:15 p.m. June 14 in the Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theater, 78 E. Washington St. Advance reservations are not required. This event is part of the 40th American Spanish Dance & Music Festival, running through June 25.

“International Passion: A Panel Discussion” will explore the relationship between Spanish dance and other dance styles, as well as Chicago’s place as a home for Spanish dance in the United States. The panel will include Spanish dancers, choreographers and esteemed artists who have a professional relationship with Ensemble Español.

The panelists will be:

  • Ana Gonzalez, founding member of the National Ballet of Spain
  • Juan Mata, founding member of the National Ballet of Spain
  • Paloma Gomez, dancer and choreographer
  • Carlos Rodriguez, cancer, choreographer and founding member of Nuevo Ballet Español

Topics for discussion will include the experiences of working in the United States, how the panelists see Chicago as an important part of maintaining Spanish dance and music traditions, and how cultural exchange helps to preserve traditions at home and in other lands. Welcome remarks will be delivered by Ensemble Español Executive Director Jorge Perez. Dan Duell, founder and artistic director of Ballet Chicago will moderate. A question-and-answer session will follow the discussion.

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 40-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.

The June 14 program is supported by The Chicago Community Trust, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation International Connections Fund and Northeastern Illinois University.