American Spanish Dance & Music Festival 2011 | “Flamenco Passion” | Live review + photo gallery
On June 24, Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater ignited the audience with “Flamenco Passion,” at Skokie’s .
For the 35th American Spanish Dance & Music Festival’s closing weekend—the program repeats tonight and at 3pm on Sunday 26—the company and guest artists performed fifteen pieces in two acts, some accompanied by live musicians. After dancing duet Zorongo Gitano with Paloma Gómez (formerly of Ballet Nacional de España, now with her own company, De Lunares Danza), BNE’s Christian Lozano premiered a solo of his own making, Veneno. Lozano seduced the audience, as intense as a bull, yet his movements were smooth, sharp and decisive. Gómez then danced Ruinas, bringing elegance to the agony sketched on her face after Lozano left the stage.
The world premiere of El Baile de Luis Alonso ended Act I, choreographed by Ensemble Español’s Irma Suarez Ruíz. The clacking of the company dancers’ castanets and rhythmic footwork accompanied the orchestral music of Spanish composer Geronimo Gimenez. Couples paired off for group numbers—Suarez Ruíz was inspired by 19th-century Spanish court and light-opera dances—the women in black-and-gold dresses, the men in blue sashes.
With mournful eyes and long, graying curls, guest artist Carmela Greco hoisted up her black skirt to display fast footwork, dancing on her heels in Cinco Tiempos Para Amar. Spanish guitarist Antonio Gabarri Jiménez enticed Greco to whip herself into a frenzy, to shouts of “Olé! Olé!” from the audience. During show closer Bolero, company members twirled red-and-black capes, in front of images of Picasso’s paintings on the backdrop.