Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ensemble Español's Bolero - 20th Anniversary Celebration

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Ensemble Español will perform Bolero as part of the 2013 Chicago Dancing Festival on August 22. Additional information can be found on the Auditorium Theatre website.

Considered Maurice Ravel's most popular work, the Bolero premiered in Paris in 1929. That same year the great conductor, Arturo Toscanini introduced Bolero to the U.S.  Ravel was a great admirer of the Spanish composer, Isaác Albéniz who described his work as "orchestral tissue without music." Bolero consists of a theme and a rhythmic pattern which have permanently impressed themselves on the world's musical consciousness. The Bolero was originally written for ballerina, Ida Rubinstein (Bronislava Nijinska was the choreographer). She presented it as a solitary dancer in an empty café dancing alone until she was joined by one partner, then other couples until the room was a swirling mass. The ballet was a success and the music a sensation. This work is dedicated to the memory of Irving B. Dobkin, long-time officer of the Board of Directors and friend of the Ensemble Español.

Since its creation, Ensemble Español’s Bolero has graced some of the greatest landmark theaters in the world to well over one million audience members and been featured in two documentaries; Dance for Life: 20th Anniversary Documentary in 2010 (winner of two Emmy awards for best documentary and best director –Scott Silberstein of HMS media) and Sobre Las Olas del Mar: A story of Flamenco in the U.S. 2013 by director, Carolina Loyola Garcia. Dame Libby’s Bolero has also been featured on ABC television, Public Television and on Dean Richards, WGN Radio and Television and international media in China, Puerto Rico and Poland.

Internationally Dame Libby’s Bolero has been performed in Puerto Rico, Poland, China and in the U.S. for the St. Louis Dance Festival in 2010, 2011, 2013 to a roaring record breaking 12 standing ovation curtain calls. The Ensemble will present Bolero on August 22 & 24, 2013 in a Chicago historic double header at the Auditorium Theater of Roosevelt University and on the Pritzker Pavillion stage in Millennium Park as part of this years Chicago Dancing Festival.


"...Bolero a huge success…3,000 people over three many standing ovations that if the curtain had not finally dropped the audience would still be applauding."
Michael Uthoff, Artistic and Executive Director, Dance St. Louis Festival

“This world-class company and its roster of guest artists never ceases to bedazzle its audiences with the variety, precision, beauty and heat of its performances...knocked it out of the park with Bolero…most phenomenal piece…extraordinary.”
Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times / Auditorium Theater, Chicago

“Savvy stagecraft…set to Maurice Ravel’s famously escalating composition…sensuous choreography.” Laura Molzahn, DanceMagazine / Harris Theater, Chicago as part of Global Rhythms

“Bolero…beautiful, full of expression and magic…the music, dance and images will surely inscribe themselves in the memory of the audience that gave it a standing ovation and demanded encore” 
Polski Theater, Warsaw, Poland in honor of Warsaw Universities 190th Anniversary

“Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theatre's bravura benefit debut--opened the show with gorgeous, swirling, red-drenched costumes and dynamite flamenco…there was a kind of dignity to the occasion, visible at the very outset when the crowd was hushed, as if spellbound, by the sheer glamour and spectacle of Ensemble Español's opening, holding back their huzzahs until Dame Libby Komaiko's incandescent take on "Bolero" had ended... exciting, sensual and breathtaking” 
Sid Smith, Chicago-Tribune as part of Dance for Life Benefit Concert at the Harris Theater, Chicago

“I get Goosebumps…absolute harmony…truly spectacular…highly, highly recommend…one of the spectacular performances of Dance for Life I have seen in it’s 20 year history…I cannot rave enough about Ensemble Español and Bolero”
Dean Richards, Entertainment Reporter, WGN Radio and Television, Chicago Harris Theater

The first Dance St. Louis program of the year was a stunner. The artistry and athleticism of the Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater lit up the Touhill Performing Arts Center this weekend with an exhilarating and colorful evening of Spanish Regional, Classical, and Flamenco music and dance. Think of it as a Spanish “Riverdance” but farther from Las Vegas and closer to its roots. The evening concluded with what has apparently become a signature piece for the company, a dazzling realization of Ravel’s “Boléro” accompanied by projected images of drawings and paintings by Picasso.”
Chuck Lavazzi, KDHX St. Louis / Touhill Center for the Performing Arts

Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater lives up to its name, beguiling the crowd with quicksilver choreography steeped in an atmosphere of romance. In doing so, the Chicago-based company transcends geographic boundaries to get to the essence of what dance is all about: emotion in motion. The evening culminated in "Bolero," set to the famously sensuous Ravel composition and choreographed by the company's founder, Dame Libby Komaiko. This was ensemble work at its most transcendent — not just a stage picture, but one bursting with life. 
Calvin Wilson, STL Today / Touhill Center for the Performing Arts

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Singing and Dancing to The Aud, by Marketing Intern Lisa Klier

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By Lisa Klier, Marketing Intern

Growing up, my neighbors knew me as the girl they could hear singing a mile away. I would sing all day, every day with no reservations. Singing was my passion, even at the expense of my family. (I once sang Jingle Bells for an entire car ride up to Wisconsin in the middle of July with a full car and no air conditioning!)

Since then, singing, music, and performing arts has in some way been integrated in my life. I sang in church choir when I was young and performed in children’s theatre. In fifth grade, I picked up the flute. I immediately fell in love with that and played throughout high school. I also took choir, music electives, and extracurricular music ensembles such as jazz a cappella and colorguard.

Colorguard was a turning point for me in high school. As a part of the marching band, I joined a group of 40 other girls and learned the art of colorguard. Through collaborative dance, flag and rifle spins I found a new outlet to express myself.

The first time I saw our instructor dance, it moved me in such a way that I can still remember it vividly today. I wanted to move like that, to learn how to feel the music and bring it to life using my body. This is where I first heard the name Martha Graham and learned what an arabesque was.

It was all of this that initially made me decide to pursue music education at Illinois State University. Last minute though, I opted for DePaul University so I could be in the city. I went in as undeclared and eventually found my way into the wonderful world of communications. After my first public relations course, I instantly knew that this was what I wanted to do. I knew it was something that I could combine with my passion for the performing arts.

Long story short, these are the influences in my life and what shaped me to be the person that I am today and choose this career path. I graduated DePaul in June of 2012 and since then have been networking and working part-time at a local State Farm office as a marketing assistant.

My internship at the Auditorium Theatre is my first in the theatre industry. Here I've seen firsthand how important interdepartmental relations are. I attended the first ever Summer Solstice gala, the group sales party, and the Cloud Gate press conference. These events allowed me to get to know theatre patrons, performers, and staff even better. I’ve worked on several projects including creating multiple surveys to gain viewer feedback after performances. My final project includes a video project from the Hands Together Hearts to Art camp. The video will show highlights from camp and give an inside view on what the campers spent their time working on.

My time here at the Auditorium comes to an end in August. Time has flown by and I am thankful for my time spent here, the amazing staff members who have taught and guided me along the way, and for the knowledge that I've gained that will help me take my next step. As for now, I know I'm on the right track and am looking forward to the next chapter in my life.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Dance for Life - Raising Funds & Awareness for HIV/AIDS Care [FLASH MOB VIDEO]

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By: Anthony Guerrero - Producer, Dance for Life Chicago

Dance for Life reaches its 22nd year and has become the Midwest's largest dance performance-based fundraiser. It allows the Chicago professional dance community the opportunity to play a proactive role in the fight against HIV/AIDS.  The mission is to raise funds and awareness for HIV/AIDS care, education and prevention.

In the summer of 1992, Dance for Life premiered at the Organic Theatre, selling out 400 seats weeks in advance and raising $18,001 for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.  The following years, the event moved to the Athenaeum Theatre, the Skyline Stage at Navy Pier and the beautiful Harris Theater selling out each year weeks in advance.  Dance for Life is proud to be housed at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University for a third year where the audiences for this one night event have exceeded 2,000 guests.

This year Dance for Life is raising funds for AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Chicago House and The Dancers’ Fund.  The Dancers' Fund originated in 1994 and was organized by DFL board member, Harriet Ross.  It provides small, personal-assistance grants to members of the Chicago area's professional dance community living with a life threatening disease.  This includes dancers, choreographers, administrators and all those working in professional dance.  The fund will offer assistance in, but not limited to, the following areas: rent, utilities, insurance, medication and travel.

This year, DFL presents pieces from DanceWorks Chicago, Giordano Dance Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, River North Dance Chicago and Thodos Dance Chicago.  In addition to these amazing companies, there will be a performance of Le Corsaire Pas de Deux by Independent Artists, Abigail Simon and Mauro Villanueva.  And the evening would not be complete without the two World Premiere Finale pieces choreographed by Harrison McEldowney & Jeremy Plummer closing Act 1 and Randy Duncan closing the night.

Be prepared for an evening of dance like no other with a little something for everyone.  This is the only place you will find all of these talented dancers working together in support of each other, their community and those living with HIV/AIDS as they dance for life.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Death Boogie Twitter Poetry Contest

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Enter to win a pair of FREE tickets to see Death Boogie: A Hip Hop Poetry Musical at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University on September 5-7, 2013.

To enter on Twitter, craft a short poem (no longer than one tweet) about “courage” and tag @AuditoriumChgo. Be creative and enter multiple times for more chances to win. One winner will be chosen on September 2.

Death Boogie, the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe Festival winner of TWO Musical Theatre Matters awards for BEST New Music and Best Innovation in Musical Theatre, is a multimedia Hip Hop Poetry Musical that uses projected illustrations and live music to follow the fictional story of Victor Spartan, a blue collar worker turned revolutionist.

Written and performed by Actor/Poet Darian Dauchan. Directed by Jennifer McGrath.


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