Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theater | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theater 

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Spanish dancers often look like predators stalking their prey--or like armies challenging each other. Dame Libby Komaiko, Ensemble Espanol's artistic director, celebrates its 30th anniversary in part with a revival of Feria Andaluza, a large-scale ensemble piece that features many festival dances (tangos flamencos, bulerias, sevillanas) in jolly, kaleidoscopic, occasionally confrontational groupings across the stage. Because she was also looking for "something different--different music, a different aesthetic," she invited Juan Mata and Ana Gonzalez, founding members of the National Ballet of Spain, to choreograph a dance that combines the traditional and the modern. Komaiko calls the result a "fantasy"; costumed in various shades of white, Alegrias y Jaleos (in the "light song" flamenco vein) uses music that includes piano, flute, and violin. The program's other premiere is a dance performed by Carmela Greco, Cabales ("Without Being"), in memory of her father, Jose. Guest artists include singers Paco Fonta from Jaen and Manuel Palacin from Madrid. Sat 6/24, 7:30 PM, Sun 6/25, 3 PM, Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph, 312-334-7777, 877-447-7849 for groups of ten or more, $30-$45 ($60 includes a reception after the Saturday concert).

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