lamenco masters return to Instituto Cervantes of Chicago (31 W. Ohio Steet) for its 16th Chicago Flamenco Festival, a multi-week celebration of Flamenco music and dance, running February 23 – March 21. This year’s festival features performances by top Chicago- and U.S.-based masters of the art form, offering the most important international event of its kind outside of Spain.
The festival opens on Friday, February 23 at 7:00 p.m. with internationally renowned flamenco dancer Estrella Morena and soulful singer Amparo “La Repompilla” Heredia. Additional headlining artists include multi-BRIO Award-winning dancer Nelida Tirado; California native Lakshmi "La Chimi" Basile;; rising flamenco star Juan Tomás de la Molía; French-born gypsy singer José Cortés Fernández; and the great flamenco guitar master Pepe Habichuela in concert with modern singer/guitarist Kiki Morente. Highlighting the multi-ethnic cultural roots of flamenco, local Hispanic, Indian, Jewish, Arabic and Romani flamenco artists from Las Guitarras de España, Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, Clinard Dance Company, and KANTUZ will also perform in addition to the only professional female flamenco guitarist in Chicago, Andrea Saucedo.
During the festival, Instituto Cervantes of Chicago will also give the Chicago premiere of three flamenco-inspired films starting with the award-winning documentary from anthropologist Miguel Ángel Rosales, Gurumbé: Afro-Andalusian Memories. The film explores the contribution of Afro-Andalusians to flamenco as the art form developed in a screening on Wednesday, February 28 at 6:00 p.m. The documentary Tocaoras will explore the past, present and future of Flamenco on Wednesday, March 7 at 6:00 p.m., and screening on Wednesday, March 14 at 6:00 p.m. is No, un cuento flamenco (NO, A Flamenco Tale) about a fictional musical film, an urban, contemporary flamenco opera in which the action is expressed through dance and the original text is narrated through song.
Additional programming and updates are available at http://chicago.cervantes.es. Tickets for all shows are available at http://www.brownpapertickets.com
Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
Flamenco masters perform at the Instituto Cervantes of Chicago's 2016 Chicago Flamenco Festival (photo by Alejandro Mallado).