Chicago has long been a center of Latino arts and culture, from its vibrant Pilsen neighborhood to its renowned cultural institutions, not least the National Museum of Mexican Art and the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture.
Over the fall, the city is proud to present three events that celebrate the vast contribution Latin America has made to the world's performing arts scene.
This is Chicago’s only Latino-focused classical music festival and one of only a few in the United States, hits the stage October 17-November 18, at multiple venues throughout the city.
This annual festival celebrates Spanish and Latin American composers from the Colonial period to today, with inspiration found in their Afro-Cuban, tango, flamenco and other roots, all the way from the Caribbean and Mexico to the Río de la Plata.
In addition to presenting a roster of international soloists, such as Mexican composer Javier Álvarez, Uruguayan guitarist Eduardo Fernández and Peruvian guitarist Luis Rafael Vivanco, the Chicago Latino Music Festival features Chicago’s own budding musicians Andrea Salcedo and Iván Reséndiz, as well as Chicagoans Fareed Haque, Goran Ivanovic; and leading ensembles KAIA String Quartet, WFMT artist-in-residence; Fulcrum Point New Music Project, Chicago’s leader in new art music.
Performance highlights include the world premiere of a groundbreaking electroacoustic work from renowned Yucatan-based composer Javier Alvarez, created in partnership with Latina Girls Code and The People’s Music School; Ensemble CONCEPT/21’s musical exploration of the influence of Latin roots in the creation of new American music; Fifth House Ensemble’s modern interpretation of a Puerto Rican folktale inspired by true stories of Chicagoan; baroque colonial music of Peru; and an encore, improvised performance finale
The Chicago Latino Music Festival is a program of the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago (ILCC), co-produced by Artistic Directors and composers Gustavo Leone (Argentinian-born) and Elbio Barilari (Uruguay-born). For more information, visit .Check out the Chicago Latino Music Festival 2018 Schedule here.
Through November 4, the Second Annual Chicago International Latino Theater Festival brings together top Latino theater artists and companies from Chicago, the United States and Latin America for seven weeks of shows, panels and student performances held throughout the city.
Highlights of this year's festival include Puerto Rico's Curazo de Blanco, which presents Luna de Cristal at Steppenwolf's 1700 Theatre from October 11-14. This is the compelling story of a family of three — an alcoholic abusive father, his reporter daughter and his optimistic son, as they face the reality of their lives.
From Columbia, Circolumbia's Acéléré from October 23-November 4 at The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare (Navy Pier). Straight from an acclaimed run on the Thames’ South Bank in London and a sell-out engagement at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Acéléré makes its North American debut at Destines, packed with explosive power and raw skill, high-energy spectacle and jaw-dropping circus feats. Acéléré is interwoven with the troupe’s signature live music and dance performances, spanning genres from hip-hop and electro cumbia to drum and bass. The majority of the company is comprised of top graduates from the country’s national circus school.
Courtesy of Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández
Recognized internationally for its presentations of traditional Mexican dance, this world-famous company returns to Chicago from November 10-11 at the Auditorium Theatre, performing high-energy audience favorites like Charreada, also known as the “rope dance,” and Deer Dance, inspired by the hunting rites of the Yaqui people. The company also showcases updated choreography for pieces such as Fiesta en Jalisco and Danza del Venado.
The company has been called “captivating” by The New York Times, while the Boston Globe commented that Ballet Folkloric de Mexico “sets the stage ablaze with vibrant color and engaging rhythms.” And, indeed, the company has a fascinating history.
In 1952, dancer and choreographer Amalia Hernandez founded the Ballet Folklorico, realizing a personal quest to salvage the dance traditions of Mexico, including from the Pre-Colombian era, the Hispanic Viceroy period, and the popular period of the Revolutionary years.
A weekly program on Mexican television sponsored by the government aired the Ballet’s initial performances. Merely a few years into its formation, the company achieved a degree of international success that has been maintained for over 50 years. Amalia Hernandez and Ballet Folklorico de Mexico have since created more than 40 ballets, and have been distinguished with more than 300 awards.