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Two acclaimed Chicago dance companies, Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater and Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre (CRDT), open the Auditorium Theatre’s popular “Made in Chicago” Dance Series on October 4, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. 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 Rivera, American 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.”  Tickets for the October 4, 2019 “Made in Chicago” performance are available at auditoriumtheatre.org or by phone at 312.341.2311 or in person at the Auditorium Theatre Box Office (50 E. Ida B Wells Dr.).

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Auditorium Theatre to Present Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theatre and Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre in One-Night-Only  "Made in Chicago" Event

Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre in Alone/Together (photo courtesy of Cerqua Rivera Dance).

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