Ensemble Español

Holiday Concert Press Release


Program Includes Three World Premieres by Carlos Rodríguez, 

Ensemble Español Celebrates the Opening of the Dame Libby Komaiko Legacy Fund with Pre-Show Juerga Flamenca Fundraiser Dec. 14



CHICAGO — Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater presents Holiday Concert/Concierto Navideño at the Northeastern Illinois University Fine Arts Auditorium, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 14 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15. The performances, featuring the full adult company and youth companies; José Barrios, guest Flamenco artist from Cordoba, Spain; U.S. guest soprano, Erica Rose Sauder and tenor Edgar Ricaud Saldivar, are part of the company’s year-long salute to founder Dame Libby Komaiko who passed away earlier this year.

The program will include three world premieres choreographed by Carlos Rodríguez (“La Noche Sagrada,” “Solares,” Duende del Viento), whose two more recent works for Ensemble Español include “DeFalla, Out of the Box” (2017) and “Mar de Fuego” (2018);  a U.S. Premiere, by Barrios (“Praecisus Umbilicus: Alegrias-Vidalita”); and popular selections from the company’s repertoire including Komaiko’s “Romance de Triana” and “La Era Romántica;” “El Baile de Luis Alonso,” choreographed by Ensemble Español Artistic Director Irma Suárez Ruiz; “Madrileño” choreographed by Ruiz (section 1 & 2) and Barcelona’s Paco Alonso, (section 3); “Danza del Molinero” choreographed by Antonio De Lucena and staged by Ensemble Español First Dancer José Torres; “Nuevamente Vivir (Live Again)” by former former principal of the National Ballet of Spain,Paloma Gómez; and “Horizonte (Horizon)” choreographed and performed by Principal Dancer Monica Saucedo in dedication to Ensemble’s late founder, Komaiko. More information about the works is featured in an addendum to this release.

Performance tickets for the Dec. 14 and Dec. 15 performance are $20-$30 (Seniors/Student $5 off with valid ID); $15 (Children under 12). For tickets or more information visit: EnsembleEspanol.org or call 773.442.4636.




  • Juerga Flamenca Fundraiser, Saturday, Dec.14 – $75 at Northeastern Illinois University Golden Eagles Room

Dame Libby Komaiko created and founded the Ensemble Español in 1976. After performing at Chicago, in 1974, in accompaniment with concert pianist and mother, Dorothy Komaiko, she became the University’s artist in residence. Two years later she created the Ensemble with five Northeastern students. Today the company trains and houses 43 dancers. Dame Libby passed away on Feb. 2.

Komaiko inspired and changed the lives of countless dancers, students, and Spanish dance aficionados. In honor of her legacy and memory, the Ensemble has renamed its primary fund The Dame Libby Komaiko Legacy Fund. Ensemble Español celebrates the dedication of the fund at the Juerga Flamenca Fundraiser, Saturday, Dec.14. This event includes a Pre-Performance Reception 6-7:15 p.m., featuring honorary awards and silent auction) plus VIP Seating for the 7:30 p.m. Juerga Flamenca Fundraiser tickets are $75. For tickets or more information call Josephine DiCesare, Director of Operations at 773.442.5916 or via email at Josephine@ensembleespanol.org 


  • Fireside Chat, Sunday, Dec.15, 1:30-2:30 p.m. – Free at Northeastern Illinois University Auditorium stage

Ensemble Español Artistic Director, Irma Suarez Ruiz and guest artist, Jose Barrios participate in a free pre show chat moderated by Chicago Tribune dance critic, Lauren Warnecke. 

Ensemble Español, founded in 1976 by artistic director, Dame Libby Komaiko, is the premiere Spanish dance company and center in the U.S. to have a professional and unique residency at Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago. Under the artistic direction of Irma Suarez Ruiz and executive leadership of Jorge Perez, company successors, the Ensemble continues its  mission of preservation, presentation and promotion of Spanish dance and culture which also includes the exploration of the country’s history in the; Flamenco, Folkloric, Classical and Escuela Bolera styles and identifies its influence on Latin American art and dance in both traditional and contemporary formats. They forge ahead as the leaders in Spanish dance and culture with a commitment to our communities, via performances, education, school residencies, academic university programs, festivals and tours.  They remain committed to their roots in education and mission of educational, artistic, and social development. Their incredible rich history includes; serving over 30,000 students annually, training over 90 company dancers, training over 160 Youth Company dancers from ages twelve to eighteen, over 90 international guest artists and musicians from Spain and the Americas, over 2,600 scholarships  awarded to talented aspiring dancers, musicians and educators, tours and residencies of U.S., including Hawaii, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Poland, Australia, Canada, China and Spain.


5500 N. St. Louis Ave Chicago, IL 60625. (773) 442.5901

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