Ensemble Español dancers in red dresses performing in "Viejos Aires." Photo by Joel Maisonet.

Monday, June 3, 2024

Ensemble Español, in residence at Northeastern Illinois University, announced their 48th American Spanish Dance and Music Festival taking place June 7-15, 2024.

The Festival includes:

  • Performances of “Flamenco Passion,” June 7-9 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd. in Skokie, Illinois. Tickets are $25-$55.
    • Select “unlock” on the ticketing site, then use code TANGO to receive $10 off. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more by calling (773) 442-5916.
  • Free Ethnic Dance and Music Symposium, June 10-12 at Northeastern’s Main Campus, 5500 N. St. Louis Ave. in Chicago. Admission is free, but reservations are required.
  • Festival Spanish Dance Classes, June 10-15 at Northeastern’s Main Campus, 5500 N. St. Louis Ave. in Chicago. Classes are $35. Registration is required.
  • Concerts at Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago.

“Every ‘Flamenco Passion’ festival performance is meant to entertain and highlight the timeless yet ever-evolving art that is Flamenco as performed by Chicago’s premiere Spanish dance company, Ensemble Español,” said Executive Director and Associate Artistic Director Jorge Perez.

This year, “Flamenco Passion” highlights include the world premiere of “Viejos Aires,” a flamenco tango as reset for Ensemble Español by Antonio Najarro, award-winning choreographer and former artistic director of the National Ballet of Spain and choreographer for the Disney movie "Wish.” Additional world premieres include “Resiliencia” and “El Bolero de Puerta de Tierra” choreographed by Raquel Gomez, former principal dancer and rehearsal director of the National Ballet of Spain; the Cuban influenced dance “Compas de Seda” choreographed by Flamenco superstar La Lupi, to an original music composition by Curro de Maria; and “Solea” by Afro/British Flamenco dancer, practitioner and educator Yinka Esa Graves. 

“We pride ourselves in our record of collaborating with some of the most exciting voices in Flamenco, Escuela Bolera, Classical and Folkloric genres as we maintain our important role as active participants in the continued evolution of these exciting music and dance forms,” said Ensemble Español Artistic Director Irma Suárez Ruiz.

Ensemble Español was founded in 1976 by Northeastern alumna Dame Libby Komaiko (1949-2019). Under Ruiz and Perez, the Ensemble continues its mission of preservation, presentation and promotion of Spanish dance and culture and identifies its influence on Latin American art and dance in both traditional and contemporary formats.

Top photo: Ensemble Español dancers performing in "Viejos Aires." Photo by Joel Maisonet.