Showing posts with label North Shore Center for the Performing Arts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label North Shore Center for the Performing Arts. Show all posts

Monday, January 27, 2020

REVIEW: The National Ballet of Odessa's Swan Lake at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie


Guest Review: 
by Catherine Hellmann

“Everything is beautiful at the ballet. Raise your arms, and someone’s always there.”--A Chorus Line

The National Ballet Theatre of Odessa presented the ballet masterpiece Swan Lake at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie on January 21. Featuring 55 of Ukraine’s top performers, Swan Lake has familiar, sensual music by composer Prokofiev. The storyline “follows a young prince as he tries to free the beautiful swan maiden from an evil spell.” 

According to the press release, “Swan Lake is a ballet performed in four acts, with one intermission. The script is based on the scenario by Vladimir
Begichev and Vasiliy Geltser, directed by Elena Baranovskaya, and
choreographed by Marius Petipa, Alexander Gorsky, Lev Ivanov, Konstantin
Sergeyev and Yuri Grigorovich.” 

The dancing was incredible and made me feel like I should run home and do five hours of Pilates. Even the way ballet dancers walkoffstage puts me to shame; they are simply so elegant and graceful. I trip just walking to my car…

The costumes were gorgeous. What’s not to like about incredibly fit men in tight white tights?? (Oh, the women were lovely, too..) 

All of the dancers were extraordinary, but the lead ballerina was divine.


When I was a kid, my beloved uncle George, a Franciscan priest, used to take me to the Cincinnati Ballet. We had a bachelor relative who had extra money and was a big sponsor of the company and passed free tickets on to Fr. George. I loved those outings, even though George was so intellectually formidable then. 

My teenage daughter had never been to a ballet before, and she loved it. I was so tickled to pass the family tradition on to a new generation. 

Catherine Hellmann is a teacher, writer, and theater junkie. She has tried to inspire urban and rural middle schoolers for over twenty years. A mother of three, she is thrilled to once again claim Chicago as home.  

Acclaimed Ukrainian Ballet Company To Perform “Romeo & Juliet” at Harris Theater for Music and Dance, January 19, 2020 and “Swan Lake” at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, January 21, 2020

The National Ballet Theatre of Odessa, is proud to announce two performances coming to Chicagoland in January 2020.  Featuring 55 of Ukraine’s top performers, “Romeo & Juliet” will be performed at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph St. in Chicago, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020 at 3 p.m., and “Swan Lake” will be performed at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.. “Romeo & Juliet” tickets are $55 - $85 , and are available by calling the box office at 312-334-7777 or through “Swan Lake” tickets are $38 - $68 and are available by calling 847-673-6300 or by visiting 

“Romeo & Juliet” is a ballet performed in two acts, set to the music of composer Sergei Prokofiev, choreographed by Michael Lavrovsky, directed by Elena Baranovskaya and produced by Garri Sevoian. The fullscale production is based on the WIlliam Shakespeare’s tragedy of the two doomed young lovers. The principal dancers are Olena Dobrianska as “Juliet” and Sergii Dotsenko as “Romeo.” 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019


ChiIL Live Shows on our radar


Critically-Acclaimed Summer Presentations Include “Wiesenthal,” “Hitler’s Tasters” and Renée Taylor’s “My Life on a Diet”

Michael Pauken, General Manager of the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, announced today that this summer three critically hailed Off-Broadway hits will come to the venue’s Northlight Theatre space.  Productions include “Wiesenthal,”  a gripping one-person retelling of the story of the legendary Nazi-hunter, Simon Wiesenthal; “Hitler’s Tasters,” the story of a group of young women who were enlisted to sample the Nazi Führer’s meals to ensure they are not poisoned and Renée Taylor’s “My Life on a Diet,” an autobiographical look at her many memorable roles, replete with juicy anecdotes about – and weight loss tips from – Hollywood legends.

“Our summer offerings feature three plays that are both moving and entertaining, sometimes in unexpected ways,” said Pauken.  “Both ‘Wiesenthal’ and ‘Hitler’s Tasters’ powerfully address the most difficult era of the 20th century in gripping and fascinating ways but also deftly employ moments of humor as they recount their protagonist’s stories. ‘My Life on a Diet’ is hilarious and revealing, yet also unexpectedly tender thanks to Ms. Taylor’s tremendous talent.” 

A Play about Nazi-Hunter, Simon Wiesenthal
Written by and starring Tom Dugan
Directed by Jenny Sullivan
Wednesday, June 26 - Sunday, June 30, 2019
Wed.-Thu. 7:30 p.m.; Fri. 8 p.m.; Sat. 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Sun. 2 p.m.
Ticket Range: $40-$60

Kicking-off the summer series will be a return engagement of “Wiesenthal,” a one-person play about Simon Wiesenthal, the tenacious holocaust survivor who was responsible for bringing more than 1,100 Nazi war criminals to justice.  Written and starring Tom Dugan, the play was hailed by The New York Times as “moving…Wiesenthal’s persistence and hard-won humor are well conveyed” while the Huffington Post called it “heartfelt, deeply moving and compelling; (Dugan) makes history come alive.” “Wiesenthal” gives equal weight to its subject’s wisdom and wit, as he recounts stories from his long and purposeful life, including locating Adolf Eichmann (who oversaw the mass deportation of Jews to ghettos and extermination camps) and Karl Silberbauer, who found and arrested Anne Frank and her family. The production played two performances at the North Shore Center in October 2018 and is returning due to audience acclaim and demand.

“Hitler’s Tasters”
Written by Michelle Kholos Brooks
Directed by Sarah Norris
Friday, July 5 - Sunday, July 14, 2019
Tue.-Thu. 7:30 p.m.; Fri. 8 p.m.; Sat. 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Sun. 2 p.m.
Ticket Range: $32-$46

Three times a day, every day, a group of young women had the opportunity to die for their country. They were Adolph Hitler's food tasters. Based on true historical events, “Hitler’s Tasters” is a dark comedy about the young women who were forced to sample food to be sure it was safe to eat before it was presented to the Nazi Führer. What do girls discuss as they wait to see if they will live through another meal? Like all girls, they gossip and dream, they question and dance; they want to love, laugh, and above all, they want to survive.

Michelle Kholos Brooks’ script, which will be presented at the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe Festival following its Skokie engagement, was greeted with critical accolades upon its New York engagement.  American Theatre Magazine called it “a great essay on the banality of evil and how people sign up to do evil as long as it serves their purpose. And I also found myself to be extremely entertained."  New York Theatre Review called it “nothing short of breathtaking,” and Tony Award-winning director Susan Stroman hailed it as “one of the best evenings I’ve spent in the theater in a long time. It was interesting, entertaining, upsetting and made you think.”

“My Life on a Diet”
Written by Renée Taylor & Joseph Bologna
Originally directed by Joe Bologna.
Tuesday, July 16 – Sunday, August 4, 2019
Tue.-Thu. 7:30 p.m.; Fri. 8 p.m.; Sat. 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Sun. 2 p.m.
Ticket Range: $45-$92

Rounding out the summer series will be Renée Taylor’s autobiographical “My Life on a Diet.”  The Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning actress looks back on a life full of memorable roles in Hollywood and on Broadway and just as many fad diets. A self-described “diet junkie,” Taylor dishes out juicy anecdotes about—and weight loss tips from—Hollywood legends such as Joan Crawford, Marilyn Monroe, Barbra Streisand, Marlon Brando and Cary Grant. By sharing her highs and lows—on and off the scale—as only she could, Taylor proves how the ability to laugh will get you through it all.

Reviewing the recent Off-Broadway run, The New York Times called “My Life on a Diet” a “lighthearted look at Taylor’s self-image and her quest for love…is a fascinating evocation of a woman with a weak body image and a strong sense of humor. A veritable depository of old-fashioned zingers…one-liners and well-timed pauses.” New York Stage Review awarded the show four stars, raving “You say you want a good laugh. If you’re truly serious about laughing heartily, you’ll get to Taylor recounting ‘My Life on a Diet’ real fast. It’s LOL funny.”

Renée Taylor, the play’s star and co-author, wrote 22 plays, four films and nine TV movies and series with her late husband Joseph Bologna. The two appeared together on Broadway in their plays “Lovers and Other Strangers” (1968), “It Had to Be You” (1981) and “If You Ever Leave Me … I’m Going with You!” (2001); and Off-Broadway in “Bermuda Avenue Triangle” (Promenade Theatre, 1997). For film, the couple received an Academy Award-nomination for the 1970 film adaptation of “Lovers and Other Strangers.”  Known for her Emmy nominated role of Sylvia Fine in “The Nanny,” her other notable TV acting credits include “Daddy Dearest,” “Dream On” and recurring roles in “How I Met Your Mother,” “Bob’s Burgers,” “Happily Divorced” and currently Amazon’s “Gown and Out in Beverly Hills.” Her many film credits also include: Jerry Lewis’ “The Errand Boy,” Mel Brooks’ “The Producers,” Elaine May’s “A New Leaf,” Neil Simon’s “Last of the Red Hot Lovers,” “Lovesick,” “White Palace,” “Life During Wartime,” Tyler Perry’s “Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor,” and more recently, “The Do-Over” and “How To Be a Latin Lover.” She last appeared at the North Shore Center with her late husband Joseph Bologna in 2005 in their Broadway play “It Had to Be You.”

Tickets go on sale Friday, March 22 at 10 a.m. at or by calling 847-673-6300. Two and three-show discounted packages are also available for purchase. Groups can book tickets by calling Group Theater Tix at (312) 423-6612.

About The North Shore Center
The North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie is a dynamic two-theater complex designed by Boston architect Graham Gund and opened in November 1996. The North Shore Center is managed by Professional Facilities Management, Inc. and operates as part of the Village of Skokie’s plan to provide cultural, literary and educational programs to benefit the citizens of Skokie and Chicago’s North Shore. The facility features an 867-seat main theater, and a convertible 318-seat theater, which serves as the home to Northlight Theatre. In addition, there is a 6,000 square foot grand lobby, rehearsal hall and conference rooms. The North Shore Center presents a Feature Series and the curriculum-based Youtheatre program, which has provided supplemental arts education to over a million Chicago area students since its launch in 1980. Located 30 minutes from Chicago’s Loop and conveniently across from Westfield Old Orchard Mall, the Center is in close proximity to many excellent dining, shopping and hotel options. Free parking is also abundantly available. For more information or tickets to its diverse programming, please visit

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Thodos Dance's Timeless Motion Saturday February 25th

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Timeless Motion

Saturday, February 25, 7:30 p.m.
at the 
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie
9501 N. Skokie Blvd.


With the announcement of a new chapter for Thodos Dance Chicago 
after the conclusion of this season,Timeless Motion will be TDC's final performance at the North Shore Center as an ensemble-based company. 

Program highlights include the world premieres of 
Changing Strangers by Melissa Thodos 
boasting her singular fluid, kinetic style, and Acid Reign 
in which TDC guest choreographer Brian Enos answers the question 
"what might a celebration look like on another planet in the future?" 


Near Light by Melissa Thodos 

Timeless Motion program, February 25, 2017 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie. 
Photo credit: Cheryl Mann.

Thodos Dance Chicago makes its annual return to Skokie's North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie with a fun, fresh and electrifying concert titled Timeless Motion, Saturday, February 25, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.

Highlights of this unique program include the world premieres of Changing Strangers by Melissa Thodos boasting her singular fluid, kinetic style, and Acid Reign in which TDC guest choreographer Brian Enos answers the question "what might a celebration look like on another planet in the future?" 

Also on TDC's Timeless Motion program are Near Light, a very personal 2015 work by Melissa Thodos with glistening lighting and daunting lifts that combine for a memorable story of healing and support. 

Sunrise by Shannon Alvis

North Shore Thodos fans can also look forward to three more works that have emerged from the company's New Dances in-house choreography series: Flawed, a lovely 2014 duet by TDC ensemble member John Cartwright, and two works that premiered at New Dances 2016, now making their official debut in Skokie as part of Thodos Dance Chicago's repertoire, Uncovering by Thodos ensemble member Briana Robinson, and Sunrise by guest choreographer Shannon Alvis.

Timeless Motion will be performed at theNorth Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, Center Theatre; located at 9501 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie, Illinois. 

Flawed by John Cartwright and Uncovering by Briana Robinson. 

Also on tap for Thodos Dance Chicago in 2017

In addition to Timeless Motion at North Shore Center, Thodos Dance Chicago will celebrate its 25th Anniversary Season Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. at Chicago's majestic Auditorium Theatre. 

The program, titled FULL CIRCLE, promises an exhilarating evening of dance celebrating a quarter century of the company's innovation and artistry. Highlights include the Chicago premiere of Nos Duraturi, a compelling and dramatic commentary on mankind's ability to endure by the legendary Bella Lewitzky, "the Grand Dame of West Coast modern dance" as part of the company's American Dance Legacy Project. 

The program will also boast Acid Reign by Brian Enos, a triumphant world premiere signature work by Melissa Thodos that will complete a trilogy by Thodos when paired with two signature works from the company's near and distant past. Note: this will be the only time this trilogy will be performed, ever. Single tickets are $29-$68. Purchase HERE or call (312) 341-2300 or buy in-person at Auditorium Theatre's Box Office, 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago.

A gala is also on tap to celebrate the company's 25 years as an integral part of Chicago's dance community, with Broadway legend and frequent Thodos collaborator Ann Reinking as Honorary Chair. 

On Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 6 p.m., hundreds of TDC friends and supporters will gather at the Chicago History Museum for the Thodos Dance Chicago FULL CIRCLE Silver Anniversary Gala. Tickets are $300; $2,500 for a table of 10. Purchase tickets HERE or call (312) 266-6255.

Proceeds will support Thodos Dance Chicago's popular New Dances in-house choreography series, building Chicago's future choreographers and new works. Always a highlight of Chicago's summer dance scene, New Dances 2017 will showcase the company's dancer's own, self-created works, Saturday and Sunday, July 15 and 16 at Chicago's Athenaeum Theatre.

About Thodos Dance Chicago

Twenty five years ago, in 1992, Melissa Thodos, a young Evanston-born, Chicago-based dancer and choreographer, was frustrated with the lack of opportunities for dancers to work in what in her mind was the obvious environment for a well-rounded dance professional: A place to perform. A place to create. And a place to educate.

Fast-forward 25 years, and Thodos is the only Chicago-based female choreographer and director to have helmed her own mid-sized, contemporary dance company with this unique mission for a quarter century. 

True to her original idea, Thodos Dance Chicago has been performing, creating and teaching dance in Chicago, across the country in 27 states, and around the world on six continents ever since. The company's unique mission of inspiring expression through dance education, dance creation and dance performance has established Thodos Dance Chicago as an innovative, internationally known presence in American contemporary dance.

Today, Thodos Dance Chicago (TDC) is an ensemble of 14 versatile dance artists with a captivating style that uses a variety of dance forms. In addition to performing works by Melissa Thodos, TDC performs works created by guest and other renowned choreographers. Notably, Melissa Thodos has collaborated on several new works with Broadway legend Ann Reinking, resulting in some of the company's most high-profile, critically acclaimed, full-length "story ballets" including The White City: Chicago's Columbian Exposition of 1893 ("Best dance of 2011" - Chicago Sun-Times) and their equally acclaimed A Light in the Dark: The Story of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan in 2013. 

Through its American Dance Legacy Project, dedicated to keeping the creative voice on stage of renowned American dance artists no long visible to the public, Thodos Dance Chicago has presented Fosse Trilogy, a trio of rarely performed works by Bob Fosse, a suite of choreography originally created by iconic modern dance legend Sybil Shearer, last season's highly successful Sono's Journey, a tribute to legendary Japanese-American dance artist, Sono Osato, conceived and choreographed by Melissa Thodos, and this season's Nos Duraturi by West Coast modern dance legend Bella Lewitzky.

Numerous guest choreographers from the national dance landscape have set works on the company as well, including Ann Reinking, Lar Lubovitch, Shapiro & Smith, Jon Lehrer, Garfield Lemonius, Zachary Whittenburg, Lucas Crandall, Brian Enos, Amy Ernst, Ron De Jesús, Gustavo Ramírez Sansano, Ahmad Simmons, KT Nelson, Robyn Mineko Williams and Kevin Iega Jeff.

TDC's ensemble for the current 25th Anniversary season, who each teach, choreograph and perform for the company, include John Cartwright, Abby Ellison, Marchetta Genis, Alex Gordon, Hattie Haggard, Thomas Jacobson, Jessica Miller Tomlinson, Shelby Moran, Melissa Panetta, Richard Peña, Brennen Renteria, Briana Robinson and Luis Vasquez, plus performing trainee Tyler Ring. 

In addition to performing the work of others, these talented young dancers have the opportunity to create their own works via the company's annual New Dances initiative. Ensemble dancers also teach a full roster of dance classes for adults and children year round at the company's rehearsal home, the Drucker Center Menomonee Club in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. Thodos Dance also teaches after school dance classes for 50 at-risk youth at the Barreto Club in Humboldt Park and Club One in Pilsen. Both are branches of the Union League Boys and Girls Club improving the lives of children in underserved Chicago neighborhoods.                                                                

Thodos Dance Chicago continues to expand its artistic and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Founder and Artistic Director Melissa Thodos, Executive Director Gail Ford, Booking Director Rick Johnston, Artistic Associate Laura Gates, Resident Lighting Designer Nathan Tomlinson, Education Outreach and Operations Manager Kate Weatherly, Board President Sharon Lear, a dedicated board of directors and the support of thousands of contemporary dance enthusiasts both in Chicago and nationwide. 

The company is supported by The Sono and Victor Elmaleh Foundation, The Garden of the Phoenix Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council-a state agency, Target, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The Arts Work Fund, The Morrison-Shearer Foundation, The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, Service Club of Chicago, Project 120, The Garden of the Phoenix Foundation, the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events and many individual and corporate sponsors. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

“Flamenco Passion” Concerts return to the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts June 17-19.


40th Anniversary Celebration Culminates 
with World Premieres by 
Internationally Acclaimed Choreographers 
Angel Rojas and Carlos Rodriguez and 
Paloma Gomez, 
Dame Libby Komaiko’s Masterpiece “Bolero” and More 

Ensemble Español’s popular “Flamenco Passion” concerts return to the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd, June 17-19. These performances are part of the company’s 2016 American Spanish Dance and Music Festival, June 8-25. This annual event, now in its 40th year, features performances, classes, seminars and lectures, showcasing the elegance and passion of Spain’s dance, music and culture. 

Friday, June 17 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday June 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 19 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $46-$26.  Free parking is available. For tickets, call 847.673.6300 or visit

This year’s “Flamenco Passion” performances feature more than 40 dancers, musicians and guest artists in an array of classical, traditional, contemporary and Flamenco styles. The world premiere of the highly anticipated "Iroko," choreographed by world-renowned dancers and choreographers Angel Rojas and Carlos Rodriguez, is a centerpiece of the festival. Named for an African tree, Iroko is the perfect title for this work, as it celebrates the roots and branches of Spanish dance and its relationship to the continents of Europe, Africa and the Americas. This new Flamenco contemporary ballet is composed to original music by Juan Parilla. This program is supported by The Chicago Community Trust and the MacArthur Foundation International Connections Fund.

The performances also feature the world premiere of  "Memorias del Corazon (Memories of the Heart)" choreographed by guest artist Paloma Gomez, and  popular works from the Ensemble Español’s repertoire, including Gomez’s “La Boda de Luis Alonso” (2012), Ensemble Español Artistic Director Irma Suarez Ruiz’s “El Baile de Luis Alonso” (2010), Juan Mata and Ana Gonzalez’s “Alegrias y Jaleos” (2006), and Ensemble Español Founder Dame Libby Komaiko’s masterpiece, “Bolero” (1993). The work of José Barrios (Cordoba), principal dancer of the Maria Pages Company; Carmela Greco (Madrid), daughter of the legendary José Greco; Flamenco guitarist Antonio Gabarri Jiménez (Madrid); Flamenco singer and guitarist Paco Fonta (Miami); Flamenco guitarist David Chiriboga (Ecuador); Flamenco singer, Manuel Palacin (Madrid) and Venezuelan-born percussionist, Javier Saume Mazzei is also reflected in the performances.

Works scheduled to be performed in the June 17-19 “Flamenco Passion” performances are as follows:
  • “La Boda de Luis Alonso (The Wedding of Luis Alonso)” (2012), choreographed by  Paloma Gómez.  This work, performed by the Ensemble Español’s company dancers, was choreographed to the first of a trio of compositions inspired by a text written by Javier de Burgos. 
  • “Duende Gitana (Gypsy Soul)” (2010), choreographed by Irma Suarez Ruiz to music by Geronimo Gimenez.
  • “El Baile de Luis Alonso (The Dance of Luis Alonso)” (2010) choreographed by Ensemble Español Artistic Director Irma Suarez Ruiz. This work, set to the third of a trio of compositions inspired by a written text by Javier de Burgos, is performed by the Ensemble Español company dancers.
  • “Ausencia, Gris, Faruca (Absence, Grey, Farruca)” (U.S. Premiere), choreographed and performed by guest artist Angel Rojas. This work premiered in 2012 at the Flamenco festival of Tampere in Finland.
  • “Basque” (1984), choreographed by Juanjo Linares, and performed by Ensemble Ensemble Español company dancers and members of the Youth Company.
  • “Memorias del Corazon (Memories of the Heart)” (World Premiere), choreographed and performed by guest artist Paloma Gomez. Says Gomez, “This choreography is born from my deepest and sincerest admiration of Dame Libby’s love, passion and devotion to Spanish dance.”
  • “Iroko” (World Premiere), choreographed by Angel Rojas and Carlos Rodriguez, original music by Juan Parilla. Rojas and Rodriguez join the Ensemble Español company dancers for this Flamenco contemporary ballet, commissioned to honor Ensemble Español’s 40th Anniversary year. “Iroko” is supported by The Chicago Community Trust, the John T. and Catherine D. MacArthur Foundation’s prestigious International Connections Fund and Northeastern Illinois University.
  • "Alegrias y Jaleos,"(2006), choreographed by Juan Mata and Ana Gonzalez, former first dancers and founding members of the National Ballet of Spain for the Company for Ensemble Español's 30th Anniversary. This work reflects the joy and happiness of Flamenco’s important and popular song forms from the southwestern sea coast province of Cadiz  Alegrias and incorporates one of the oldest gypsy dances. It is dedicated to legendary master teacher, choreographer dancer and Director of Centro Andaluz de Danza, José Granero (1936-2006).
  • “Errante (Wandering)” (2015) (U.S. Premiere), choreographed and performed by guest artist Carlos Rodriguez.
  • “Algazara”( 2013), choreographed by José Barrios, principal dancer of the Maria Pages Company. Guest dancers, musicians and the Ensemble Español’s Company and Youth Company dancers are featured in this festive work that begins with the dramatic sounds of the cajon (percussive instrument) and incorporates the Buleria Flamenco style featuring a twelve count rhythm.
  • “Cinco Tiempos Para Amar (Five Times to Love)” (2010) choreographed and performed by Carmela Greco, daughter of the legendary José Greco, to music by guest Flamenco guitarist, Antonio Gabarri Jimenez.  This Flamenco solo is set to the music and lyrics of the Martinete & Siguiriya, in the Cante Jondo (deep song) style, the saddest and most dramatic songs of Flamenco, with musical arrangement and composition by Jimenez.
  • “Bolero” (1993) choreographed by Ensemble Español Founder Dame Libby Komaiko performed to music by Maurice Ravel (1875-1937). Since its creation, Komaiko’s “Bolero” has been seen by more than one million people on stages around the country and internationally and featured in two documentaries. The “Flamenco Passion” 2016 performances of “Bolero” are made possible in part by the Cherry Family Foundation.
Selections/artists subject to change.

Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater and Center

Under the artistic and executive leadership of Founder and Artistic Director, Dame Libby Komaiko, Artistic Director, Irma Suárez Ruiz and Executive Director, Jorge Perez, Ensemble Español is internationally recognized as the premier Center for Spanish Dance, Music and Culture in America. Its 40 sensational dancers, singers, instrumentalists with international guest artists, promotes Spanish dance culture in all its forms – from Flamenco to traditional folkloric to classical renaissance to the 21st century.

In 1982, Dame Libby became the first American artist in history to be decorated with Spain's highest honor "Lazo de Dama" (Ribbon of the Dame) by his Majesty Don Juan Carlos I, King of Spain for her artistic, cultural and educational work throughout the United States. In 2011, United States President, Barack Obama, congratulated the Ensemble Español for their work in presenting this art form to the many communities served locally, nationally and internationally. The Ensemble Español has been in residence at Northeastern Illinois University since 1976.

Throughout the company’s 40 year history, Ensemble Español has changed lives through their education and outreach efforts. To date it has has awarded more than 2,600 scholarships, trained  more than 160 youth dancers and 90 youth apprentices to become professionals in the arts world, and this August, will conduct its inaugural artistic/cultural educational tour to Spain.

For more information about Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater and Center visit

Ensemble Español’s the 40th International American Spanish Dance & Music Festival June 8-15 
Listing of Events

The elegance and passion of Spain’s dance, music and culture is showcased in the 40th American Spanish Dance & Music Festival, Wednesday, June 8 through Sunday, June 25. The Chicago Sun-Times hails this 12-day celebration of Spanish culture as “a date worth keeping every summer.”  For Festival updates visit

Festival events are as follows:

Wednesday, June 8, 8 p.m.  
Duende Flamenco Music & Dance Concert
The Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
Tickets: Free. Call 773.728.6000 or visit
This event is SOLD OUT

Tuesday, June 14, 12:15 p. m. 
An International Passion - Panel Discussion
Chicago Cultural Center ~ Claudia Cassidy Theatre, 78 E. Washington St., Chicago
Free and Open to the Public
For Questions: Josephine DiCesare at (773) 442-5916, or via email at

Friday, June 17 and Saturday, June 18 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, June 19 at 3 p.m.
“Flamenco Passion” Performances
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, 9501 Skokie, Blvd., Skokie, Ill.
Tickets: $26-$46. Free parking is available. Call 847.673.6300 or visit

June 20-25
Spanish Dance Classes and Flamenco Master Workshops
Northeastern Illinois University Dance Studios, Building J.
5500 N. St. Louis Dr., Chicago.
Registration/more information: contact Festival Coordinator Joséphine DiCesare at 773.442.5916 or via email at

Artists and events subject to change.

Festival Sponsors: Northeastern Illinois University, Wintrust Banks, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Illinois Arts Council,  Caerus Foundation Inc., The Driehaus Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, N.I.B. Foundation, Holiday Inn Chicago North Shore,  Cherry Family Foundation, Southwest Airlines, José Greco Foundation, Splash Magazine/Chicago Sun-Times and Negocios Now.

Media Sponsors: Univision Chicago, Arte y Vida Chicago, Telemundo Chicago, Comcast, La Raza, Spanish Public Radio, Arte y Vida, Hispanic Pro, Negocios Now.

Festival Collaborators: Instituto Cervantes, Chicago Tourist Office of Spain, Old Town School of Folk Music, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, International Latino Cultural Center,  Chicago Dance Supply, Studio Mangiameli, Flamenco Arts Center, Clinard Dance Theater, Flamenco Chicago LLC.

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