50 E Ida B Wells Dr
Chicago, IL

Release date: August 20, 2019

Lily Oberman
Auditorium Theatre
312.341.2331 (office) | 973.699.5312 (cell)

The Auditorium Theatre invites members of the press and a guest to attend the
one-night-only performance of Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater and
Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre on Friday, October 4 at 7:30PM. Please RSVP to
Lily Oberman by Monday, September 23 via email at loberman01@auditoriumtheatre.org or by phone at 312.341.2331.


Ensemble Español Commemorates Founder Dame Libby Komaiko with a Special Performance of New and Classic Pieces

Cerqua Rivera Makes Its Series Debut with the Chicago Premiere of Its
First-Ever Evening Length Work, American Catracho

Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater and Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre on October 4, 2019

(CHICAGO, IL) Two acclaimed Chicago dance companies, Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater and Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre (CRDT), open the Auditorium Theatre’s “Made in Chicago” Dance Series on October 4, 2019 at 7:30PM. In this one-night-only event, each company explores identity and culture through vibrant dance and live music.

“We are thrilled to have Ensemble Español and Cerqua Rivera sharing our stage to kick off our ‘Made in Chicago’ Dance Series, which highlights Chicago’s incredible local dance scene,” says C.J. Dillon, Auditorium Theatre Chief Programming Officer. “Both companies incorporate styles of dance from around the world and turn them into something that uniquely represents this great city. We are excited to showcase them on our landmark stage.”

Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater honors its founder, Dame Libby Komaiko, who passed away on February 2, 2019, with a program that features audience favorites and newer works, including the world premiere of Ensemble Español dancer Claudia Pizarro’s Azabache and Carlos Rodriguez’s 2018 contemporary flamenco ballet Mar de Fuego. The work is dedicated to Komaiko for her passion and dedication to Spanish dance, music, arts, and culture. The company also performs Komaiko’s 1983 work Ecos de España, which explores the vitality and distinctly individual qualities of Spanish folk music and the rhythms and colors that go hand-in-hand with it. Komaiko was inspired by the painter Francisco de Goya and the musician Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov while creating the piece. Flamenco musicians provide live musical interludes and accompaniment.

“We are excited to once again return to the Auditorium Theatre and the ‘Made in Chicago’ Dance Series with this special program that commemorates our beloved founder,” said Ensemble Español Executive Director Jorge Pérez. “The Auditorium holds a special place in our hearts, and this season’s program with Cerqua Rivera will unite two of Chicago’s most passionate companies for one sizzling night of Spanish and Latin rhythms.”

This performance marks Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre’s “Made in Chicago” Dance Series debut as the company celebrates its 20th anniversary and gives the Chicago premiere its first-ever evening length work, American Catracho. Directed and choreographed by CRDT Co-Founder and Artistic Director Wilfredo RiveraAmerican Catracho examines the question, “What does it mean to be an American today?” through the perspective of immigrants to the United States. Poets, lawyers, painters, writers, and others contributed stories that were used as inspiration to drive the creative process of the piece. Rivera also drew upon his own experiences as an immigrant from Honduras to shape the work, which has been in development for three years. American Catracho features original music by company co-founder Joe Cerqua, performed live by the CRDT band, featuring some of the Chicago area’s best jazz and classical musicians.

“After working on American Catracho for three years, we are honored to present this piece to the city of Chicago at the historic Auditorium Theatre,” said Rivera. “People from all walks of life with roots from all over the globe will find something to connect to within the work.”

Event Information

Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater + Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre

Friday, October 4, 2019 | 7:30PM

Tickets start at $29 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 Dr). Ensemble Español + Cerqua Rivera is part of the Auditorium Theatre’s “Made in Chicago” Dance Series, which offers a 25% discount on tickets and also includes Trinity Irish Dance Company and Giordano Dance Chicago.

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.

About Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater

Ensemble Español is the premier Spanish dance company and center in the United States to have in-residence status at a university, making its home at Northeastern Illinois University. Founded by Dame Libby Komaiko in 1975, and incorporated in 1976, the company tours nationally and internationally, provides extensive arts education to young students, maintains a pre-professional training academy, offers university-level dance courses for college credit, and conducts a wide range of community outreach programs and classes. For more information, visit EnsembleEspanol.org.

About Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre

Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre was founded in 1999 by Joe Cerqua, composer and musician; Wilfredo Rivera, choreographer and dancer; and Matt Lamb, painter. The founding mission – to fuse music, dance, and visual art to explore and celebrate contemporary American society – remains the company’s driving force today. Cerqua Rivera’s art grows from collaborations among composers & musicians, choreographers & dancers, and visual artists, where the art forms are combined in cohesive performance pieces. Their performances are theatrical and thoughtful, vivacious and exuberant. The company’s work is rooted in its founders’ vision of what art can do – gather people to contemplate factors that knit our community together and differences that add complexity to our society. For more information, visit CerquaRivera.org.

Press photos and video are available here.

Upcoming Events at the Auditorium Theatre

August 24: Hip-Hop Orchestra in Chicago 

September 10: King Crimson – 2019 Tour “Celebrating 50 Years” 

September 21: Get Out with the Chicago Sinfonietta

September 24: National Geographic Live – Between River and Rim: Hiking the Grand Canyon

October 4: Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater + Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre

October 16-27: The Joffrey Ballet – Jane Eyre

October 31+November 1: Disney in Concert: The Nightmare Before Christmas

November 7-9: 93XRT Presents The String Cheese Incident

November 10: Sleeping Beauty Dreams

November 16: Chicago Celebrates Sondheim!

About the Auditorium Theatre

The Auditorium Theatre, located at 50 E Ida B Wells Dr at Roosevelt University in Chicago, is an Illinois, not-for-profit organization committed to presenting the finest in international, cultural, community, and educational programming to all of Chicago and beyond as The Theatre for the People. The organization also is committed to the continued restoration and preservation of the National Historic Landmark.

The Auditorium Theatre 2019-20 Season is made possible in part with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council, and the Palmer House, a Hilton HotelChicago Magazine is the official magazine sponsor. For more information about programming, volunteer, and donor opportunities or theatre tours, please call 312.341.2310 or visit AuditoriumTheatre.org. For a complete listing of events at the Auditorium Theatre, please click here.

Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, photo by Dean Paul. | Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, photo by William Frederking. | Auditorium Theatre, photo by Frank Orrico.



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