Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ensemble Español's Bolero - 20th Anniversary Celebration

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

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