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Ensemble Espanol Opens Auditorium Theatre 2021-22 Season


Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, in residence at Northeastern Illinois University, returns to the Auditorium Theatre 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. Celebrating the finale performance of its 45th anniversary "Zafiro Flamenco (Sapphire Flamenco): New Era, New Works, New Legacies" season, the Chicago-based Ensemble Español has been hailed for "its grand theatricality, precision-tooled technique, and flamenco-based fire" (Chicago Tonight).

This performance is the first presented performance since the theater closed in March of 2020, and opens the Auditorium's 2021-22 Season. It is the first program in the Auditorium's "Made in Chicago" Dance Series. The performance will also be the kick-off event of Instituto Cervantes' Chicago Flamenco Festival 2021.

"Over 17 months ago, we presented our last live performance on our historic stage. On Oct. 16 we are excited to open our doors once again with the celebrated Chicago dance company Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater," said Auditorium Theatre CEO Rich Regan. "We invite all of Chicago to this grand re-opening as we continue our 131-year journey as one of the city's premier cultural institutions."

"We're proud to open the Auditorium Theatre after its long closure," says Irma Suarez Ruiz, Ensemble Español Artistic Director. "For 45 years the company has been creating dance and performing in this great city. A concert is an ideal way to celebrate this achievement." "This is the 15th time we've performed on the Auditorium Theatre stage," says Jorge Perez, Ensemble Español Executive & Associate Artistic Director. "We are always grateful when we perform here, knowing the unparalleled opportunity a performance here means to connect with Chicago audiences as one of the cities very own international cultural treasures.

The program for the Oct. 16 engagement will open with "Tangos de Granada" (2021) choreographed by Chicago's own, Wendy Clinard, Artistic Director, Clinard Dance.
The program also features two world premieres of Ensemble Español Company works: "Ritmo de la Tierra (Rhythm of the Earth)" (Martinete), and "Al Golpe" (Jaleos) choreographed by Nino de los Reyes, the first dancer to ever win a Grammy. Reyes is also showcased as performer in two solo works: "Farruca" (2021) and the world premiere of "Lo Que Los Ojos No Ven" (What the Eyes Cannot See) also choreographed by de los Reyes.

Other program works include the folkloric suite "Viva Galicia" (2007) by Paloma Gomez & Christian Lozano and popular works from the company's repertoire including: "Horizonte" (2018) choreographed and performed by Company dancer Monica Saucedo; "Sevilla" (2019) featuring Ensemble Español Artistic Director Irma Suarez Ruiz on castanets; "Defalla, Fuera de la Caja" (Defalla, Out of the Box) (2017) by Angel Rojas; "Pasion Oculta" (Hidden Passion) (2019) by Artistic Director Ruiz; "Entre Dos Almas" (Between Two Souls) (1998), choreographed and performed by Ruiz and Perez; and the company's signature work, "Bolero" (1993) choreographed by Company Founder Dame Libby Komaiko.

Musical guest artists performing in the program include: Flamenco singer/guitarist Paco Fonta (Jaen/Miami); singer, guitarist and percussionist José Moreno (Madrid, Malaga, New York); Flamenco guitarist David Chiriboga (Ecuador/Chicago) classical guitarist Brian Torosian (Chicago); Percussionist Javier Saume-Mazzei (Venezuela/Albuquerque).

Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, in residence at Northeastern Illinois University, performs at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Parkway, as part of the "Made in Chicago" Dance Series 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 16.

Individual tickets start at $25 and are available online here, by phone at 312.341.2300, or in person at the Auditorium Theatre Box Office (50 E. Ida B. Wells Drive). Tickets are available now as part of the Auditorium Theatre's "Made in Chicago" Dance Series, which offers a 20% discount and also includes Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, Trinity Irish Dance Company, and Giordano Dance Chicago. Discounts for groups of 10 or more people are available now.

The Auditorium Theatre also offers $15 student rush tickets to full-time college students and $5 tickets to young people ages 13-19 with Urban Gateways' Teen Arts Pass program. The Auditorium Theatre's ADMIT ONE program offers complimentary tickets to Chicago-area community groups.

The Auditorium Theatre is implementing current COVID-19 safety protocols at each show, as well as implementing a flexible return and exchange policy so you can purchase tickets without worry. For tickets or more information, visit

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