Spain’s culture is showcased with Ensemble Español’s 37th American Spanish Dance & Music Festival, June 12 through June 23.

Chicago’s unique contribution to the elegance and passion of Spain’s dance, music and culture is showcased as never before in Ensemble Español’s 37th American Spanish Dance & Music Festival, Wednesday, June 12 through Sunday, June 23. 

This year the Festival expands to two new locations: Old Town School of Folk Music, which will host the free Festival opening Duende Flamenco Music & Dance Concert; Instituto Cervantes in downtown Chicago which will host a reception and pre release preview presentation of the “Sobre las Olas” documentary film on Flamenco in the US. featuring Dame Libby and the Ensemble Español. 
Northeastern Illinois University is the site of the popular series of Spanish/Flamenco /classical/folkloric master classes; and for the thirteenth season North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie will host the ever popular “Flamenco Passion” Gala performances this year highlighting the 20th anniversary of Dame Libby’s International Flamenco masterwork ballet, “Bolero,” plus an exciting selection of works by guest artists and from Ensemble Español’s

extensive crowd-pleasing repertoire.
“Festival time is always exciting for us. We are thrilled to be adding the Old Town School of Folk Music as partners and the pre release preview of the documentary film “Sobre las Olas” at the Instituto Cervantes. I am also thrilled to mark the 20th anniversary of Bolero given the overwhelming international reception throughout it’s history. Sitting in the audience for the 2010 Dance for Life benefit gala concert at the Harris Theater in Millennium park, my heart was passionately pumping as the dancers began and my soul took flight when the entire audience jumped to their feet in uproarious applause as the company devoured the full
stage, rushing and twirling, with their Spanish fans and toreador capes. ¡Ole! 
We are honored to donate part of the proceeds from our Friday, June 21 opening gala performance to benefit Dance for Life. We are also extremely grateful to once again have the support of our in resident partner, Northeastern Illinois University, the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, plus an incredible roster of guest artists and sponsors, who have generously contributed to the success of our festival”.
Dame Libby Komaiko, Founder and Artistic Director of Ensemble Español.
The Festival begins with the Duende Flamenco Music & Dance Concert at the Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Avenue in Chicago, Wednesday, June 12 at 8:30 p.m. The concert will feature dancers from the Ensemble Español along with guest artists from Spain, including famous Flamenco dancer and choreographer Carmela Greco, performing her passionate Flamenco Cuban influenced Guajiras, Devenir (“Come & Go”); and José Barrios principal dancer of the Maria Pages Flamenco Company in Seville performing “Antes Que Amanezca” (“Before Dawn”) in the deep song Flamenco style of Solea por Bulerias
with musicians, Paco Fonta, Flamenco singer and guitarist, Antonio Gabarri Jiménez, Flamenco guitarist and Javier Saume Mazzei, percussionist. This concert is part of the Old Town’s World Music series. 
Tickets FREE with a $10 suggested donation. 
For reservations or more information call 773-728-6000 or visit .
“Sobre las Olas – A story of Flamenco in the US,” directed by Carolina Loyola-Garcia, will have a pre-release exclusive preview event at Chicago’s Instituto Cervantes Auditorium, 31 W Ohio St. Thursday, June 13 at 6 p.m.

Since the early 20th century, the art of Flamenco has been crossing the ocean traveling to faraway places, including the United States. The legendary José Greco spread this art form throughout the Americas making it a household word. Many have fallen in love with its deep songs, cries, rhythms and movements. This documentary brings us into the heart of Flamenco in the US and to the artists who keep it alive. Featured artists include Carmela Greco, daughter of the legendary José Greco, and Dame Libby Komaiko, Irma Suárez
Ruiz and Jorge Pérez of Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater. Other featured artists include Edwin Aparicio, Ricardo Marlow, Jesus Montoya, Barbara Martinez, Rebeca Tomas, Elba Hevia Y Vaca, Marija Temo, Manolo Leiva, Maria Benitez, and Cihtli Ocampo, among others.

 Following the screening there will be a Q & A with Carmela Greco, Dame Libby Komaiko and dancers of the Ensemble Español and a Spanish Tapas & Wine reception by Emilios Tapas Restaurant. Tickets are $15 (general admission), $12 (students and seniors) and $10 (IC and ILCC Members).

For reservations and more information contact Josephine DiCesare, Manager of Operations at 773-442- 5916


The Festival culminates with three must-see “Flamenco Passion” live music and dance performances at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Friday, June 21 and Saturday June 22 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, June 23 at 3 p.m. The program will feature Dame Libby’s full company Flamenco masterwork ballet, BOLERO, now celebrating its 20th anniversary. The performances will also feature guest dancers and choreographers including Carmela Greco (Madrid), daughter of the legendary José Greco; Paloma Gómez & Raquel Gomez (Madrid), former principals with the National Ballet of Spain; and José Barrios (Cordoba), principal dancer of the Maria Pages Company. The impressive roster of guest singers and musicians will include Flamenco guitarist, Antonio Gabarri Jiménez (Madrid), Flamenco singer and guitarist, Paco Fonta (Miami), Flamenco guitarist, David Chiriboga (Ecuador), Peruvian Tenor, Luis Galvez and Venezuelan-born percussionist, Javier Saume Mazzei. Additional program details will be announced at a later date.
Tickets are $26-$46; free parking is available. For tickets, call 847-673-6300 or visit Mini-group rates ($22-$39) are available for groups of 6 or more. Call 773-327-3778.