Flamenco Festival

They say flamenco is a way of life. It's cultura, music, passion and art. We've seen its energetic, rapid movements in angry hummingbird taps on wooden floors, delicate hands coming together in quick applause with boisterous cries and traditional guitars streaming furiously along. There are several dance and music styles within flamenco and most are generally referred to as having a proud carriage, outspoken in movements, odes to gitano traditions. The Chicago Flamenco Festival takes place throughout February and March. This is a two part series featuring each month's flamenco related activities.

Flamenco is fierce in it's quest to conquer you. Like that, in the quickness of the blink of an eye the dancer has masterfully captured your full attention. You've nothing left but to immerse yourself in the thrill of the passionate exhibition before you. This is just the beginning. Flamenco is gallant and proud, confident and domineering. You're in for a thrilling ride.

Luckily for us, this wondrous city offers plenty of opportunities to embark on such global music expeditions. There are choreographed presentations as well as open jam sessions. It's all a passionate spectacle of the love of flamenco. In this case, flamenco is the star and Friday, Feb. 14, Valentine's Day, the most romantic of days, marks the start of the Chicago Flamenco Festival. Presented by Instituto Cervantes and Arte y Vida, the festival is focused on providing entertainment, education and an overall urban multi-cultural experience.

The best part is that all of the performances include a local flamenco opener followed by flamenco performances, workshops and films. For a complete schedule of Chicago Flamenco Festival 2014 visit Arte y Vida Chicago. This city is more than house and blues. Join the cultural r/evolution.



Friday, February 14
Opening Night
Instituto Cervantes
31 W. Ohio, Chicago, IL 60654
Reception 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Performance 7:30 - 8:45 p.m.


Featuring Vanesa Aibar Company with Eduardo Pacheco and Cristian de Moret featuring special guest The Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater.

Accompanied by guitarist Eduardo Pacheco and vocalist Cristian de Moret, dancer Vanesa Aibar conveys the art of flamenco through her stylistic and powerful self-choreographed dance. Aibar has won many

awards for her dance including second place for individual choreography at the Certamen Flamenco de Madrid en 2011.

After-Party features Soulphonetics 8:45 - 9:30 p.m. Purchase Tickets

Saturday, February 15
Instituto Cervantes
31 West Ohio Street, Chicago, IL 60654
7:30 p.m.

Vanesa Aibar Company featuring special guest Soul y Duende Flamenco Company.

Founded in Madrid in 1991 and in Chicago in 1994, Soul & Duende evokes the soul with their performances of Spanish and Fla

menco Dance. Azucena Vega injects her artistic experience of over 50 years in the company which is made out of a range of generations of professionals and students. The company offers a multidisciplinary emphasis in dance, music and theater. Purchase Tickets

Wednesday, February 19
Old Town School of Folk Music
4544 N. Lincoln Avenue, Gary and Laurer Maurer Concert Hall
Chicago Flamenco - World Music Wednesday
FREE! ($10 suggested donation)
8:00 p.m.

The Old Town School of Folk Music and the Instituto Cervantes present Chicago Flamenco as part of the Chicago Flamenco Festival 2014. Chicag

o Flamenco traces the history of the Flamenco music and dance scene in Chicago recognizing the founders and pillars of the local community and featuring live performances from top Chicago performers. Join us for an evening of passionate music and dance! 

Friday, February 21 & Saturday, February 22
Instituto Cervantes
31 West Ohio Street, Chicago, IL 60654
7:30 p.m.

Patricia Ibañez Company with Thiago Vazquez and Rocio Fernandez.


Patricia Ibáñez made her first professional flamenco debut at merely five years old. Since then, she has worked with various companies,

studied and toured around the world and is here now to offer Chicago one of her most expressive performances. Accompanied by guitarist Thiago Vásquez and vocalist Rocío Fernández, artistically known as Rocío Parrilla, Patricia Ibáñez brings a high level of elegance and emotion to the intimate art of flamenco dance. Ibáñez has won many awards around the world for her stylish and powerful dance, including the first prize of Baile Libre in the Concurso Nacional de Baile por Alegrías in 2011 and the special prize of "Copa Jerez" granted by the chair of flamencology of Jerez. Purchase Tickets

Friday, February 28
Instituto Cervantes
31 West Ohio Street, Chicago, IL 60654

7:30 p.m.

Antonio Mesa Flamenco Jazz Project with special guest Las Guitarras de España

Antonio Mesa studied in the Superior Conservatory of Music in Seville. He joined the jazz scene through the mentorship of several great masters such as Jerry Bergonzi, Bob Moses, Barry Harris and John Abercrombie to name a few. This extraordinary group's artful fusion of flamenco and jazz is both brilliant and explosive. Mesa, alongside several renowned American musicians, presents a varied repertoire of original compositions and arrangements sure to surprise the most learned listener. Purchase Tickets


Monday, February 24
Instituto Cervantes
31 West Ohio Street, Chicago, IL 60654


6:00 p.m.


Join Artistic Director Chechu Berlanga and Josh Chicoine, Co-Founder, Artistic Director, CIMM Fest for a discussion following the screening of Huelva Flamenca.

Free and open to the public. $5 suggested donation.   Please RSVP.

About Huelva Flamenca (2008)

Benoît Bodlet & Chechu G.Berlanga

"When we asked Miguel Vega Cruz, dug ‘El Niño Miguel' (Huelva 1952), how we must entitle the documentary based on his career, he did not think twice: ‘The Shadow of the Strings' was his answer. El Niño Miguel has never stopped playing the guitar since his first concert took place when he was 7 years old, turning himself into the shadow of his guitar. Nowadays and due to an illness matter, he continues playing but this time busking on the streets of his hometown Huelva (Spain).

This documentary recovers his life, music and thoughts, pieces of an alive legend, a myth which revolutionised Flamenco with only two albums in the market and left us an indispensable and eternal work, a professor whose lecture continues... words are not enough to draw the figure of this man of genius. 

Poetic flag of its province, the ‘Fandangos of Huelva' are the reflect of its people, villages and stories. Brave singing of an intense emotional strength, it counts with a large variety of personal and popular styles dedicated to the symbols of that land. Huelva is a land of songs and guitars. The guitar of the Niño Miguel, living legend of the flamenco world, whom influence spreads to the flamenco-jazz. A musical journey to discover the flamenco art of Huelva, from the folk music to the depth of the singing."


Note: In addition to but outside of the festival will be Estrella Morente performing at Symphony Center. Plus, at the end March will be a performance of Carlota Santana's Flamenco Vivo.

By: Sandra Trevino / Arte y Vida Chicago