Ensemble Espanol | Northeastern Illinois University, Auditorium | Dance | Chicago Reader

Ensemble Espanol The Short List (Theater) Recommended Critics' Picks

When: Sat., Dec. 20 2008

The Rockettes' Christmas spectacular has left town, but you can still catch rows of dancers moving in martial unison at Ensemble Español's family holiday concert. And the thunderclap stamping and precise-as-clockwork manipulations of gaucho hats in Zapateado—based on a dance form that originated with men on horses—are arguably more breathtaking than high kicks. Viva Galicia—a festively colored, beribboned trilogy of pieces by company founder Dame Libby Komaiko (who also created Zapateado), Nana Lorca, and Paloma Gomez and Christian Lozano—might be interpreted as a Christmas celebration, but little else in the show smacks of the holidays. Instead, the evening's devoted to the many Spanish traditions that Ensemble Español keeps alive, from classical—as in Irma Suarez Ruiz's graceful Sevillanas Boleras—to flamenco, represented by Zapateado and a recent work by Ruiz, No Me Olvides ("Don't Forget Me”). Narrated slide shows provide cultural background between the numbers.

Price: $10-$25

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