Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater


Dame Libby Komaiko is the founder and Artistic Director of EESDT and professor of dance in the Music Department/Dance Program at Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago. She has been the recipient of numerous civic honors, national awards, and choreography fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the IAC, and the Chicago Office on Fine Arts. Irma Suarez Ruíz, First Dancer, Assistant to the Director, Rehearsal Mistress, teacher, choreographer, and Director of Education and Community Outreach, began her formal dance training in classical ballet and Spanish dance with Dame Libby Komaiko in 1979. Ruíz has received numerous awards throughout her international career. Recently, she was honored with an Artistic Ambassador Award from the Ruth Page Foundation and Northeastern Illinois University.

Artistic Statement: 

Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater (EESDT) is the first Spanish dance company in the United States to have in-residence status at a university (Northeastern Illinois). EESDT shares the rich traditions of dance, music, literature, and culture of Spain in the classical, folkloric, and flamenco styles. The company, founded in 1976 by Artistic Director Dame Libby Komaiko, is comprised of forty dancers, singers, and musicians representing a mosaic of cultures from around the world. Dame Libby was the first American artist in history to be decorated with Spain’s highest honor, Lazo de Dama, by the king of Spain for her artistic and educational work throughout the United States. The ensemble appears in a broad range of television, opera, and symphonic formats, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Residency Type: 
Performance Company