Founded in 1976 by Dame Libby Komaiko, the Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, under the artistic leadership of Artistic Director Irma Suarez-Ruiz and Executive Director Jorge Perez, is the premier Spanish Dance Company and Center in the United States in-residence at Northeastern Illinois University’s Department of Music and Dance.
The company’s mission is the preservation, presentation and promotion of the Flamenco, Folkloric, Classical, Escuela Bolera and Contemporary Dance and Music traditions of Spain.
The Ensemble Español celebrates Spain in America through performance, arts education, and community programs that bring the dance, music, and song of Spain to U.S. audiences.
For over 47 years, the organization has shared the rich history and contemporary importance of culturally specific art, and maintains this commitment for artists, students, and art lovers the world over.
Ensemble Español believes that all our students are collaborators in the learning environment. Our teaching artists serve as guides and use a learner-centered approach that allows students’ curiosity to direct their learning. We strive to build safe learning environments that foster community, creativity, and positive risk taking for our students’ personal and professional growth.
The Ensemble Español is led by a BIPOC team and serves a company of dancers that identify as people of color.
Equity across race, ethnicity, class, ability, gender identity and sexual orientation is an important value of the Ensemble Español. We strive to create an equitable and inclusive environment for all those that we work with.
In addition, our Board of Directors is composed of leaders of color including members that identify as Hispanic/Latino/Latinx as well as African-American.
Our dance company is unique in that it is in residence at Northeastern Illinois University, a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). With this residence, we are able to partner with and perform at HSIs across the City of Chicago.
Northeastern Illinois University, as a public comprehensive university with locations throughout Chicago, provides an exceptional environment for learning, teaching, and scholarship. NEIU prepares a diverse community of students for leadership and service in our region and in a dynamic multicultural world.