North Central College - Naperville, IL

Experience Spanish culture during annual Flamenco Festival

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Chiara Mangiameli, featured flamenco artist at festival
Chiara Mangiameli, featured flamenco artist at festival

During the month of February, North Central College will host the fifth annual Flamenco Festival that showcases the emotive, rhythmic music and dance from Spanish culture. Several events are planned—including dance classes, films, a lecture and photography exhibit. All are open to the public and most are free.

The Flamenco Festival presents the following events:

  • On Wednesdays  Feb. 1-29, Sánchez will teach Sevillanas dance for beginners from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in Heininger Auditorium at Larrance Academic Center, 309 E. School St. Admission is $5/person per session; proceeds benefit the College’s Spanish Club. From Seville, Spain, Sevillanas is a fun dance at festivals and parties. Skirts are optional attire.
  • A free lecture titled “The Art of Flamenco” by North Central Spanish instructor Jelena Sánchez will kick off the festival at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2, in the theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall, 31 S. Ellsworth St. Sánchez will present a voyage through history and culture. Tapas will be served. 
  • Three free films will be shown in the theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall, 31 S. Ellsworth St.: On Friday, Feb. 3, 3-5 p.m., the 1993 documentary “Latcho Drom” uses only song and dance to tell the story of the migration of the Gypsies or Romany people across Europe and Asia; on Monday, Feb. 20, 3-5 p.m., the 1983 award-winning drama “Carmen” by Carlos Saura features a flamenco teacher obsessed with the beautiful dancer Carmen (English subtitles); and on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 4-6 p.m., the film “Flamenco Flamenco” is a feast of movement and music that highlights the evolution of the art form. 
  • A photography exhibit, titled “Flamenco Fusion” and presented by Sánchez, will showcase portraits of a new era of student flamenco enthusiasts. On display weekdays, Feb. 15-29, in the lobby of Kiekhofer Hall, 329 E. School St., the free exhibit is meant to inspire and engage viewers in a cross-cultural discourse. 
  • Guest professional flamenco artist and dancer Chiara Mangiameli will give a lecture titled “The Rhythms and Expression of Flamenco Song and Dance” at 11 a.m. and a hands-on workshop on tango-flamenco dance at noon on Thursday, Feb. 16. The two free events will take place in Madden Theatre at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave.
  • A Flamenco Guitar Jam will feature professional guitarists Carlo Basile and David Chiriboga, who often accompany famed dancer Chiara Mangiameli. The duo will give a free performance from 2 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, in the Rolland Center Boilerhouse Café basement, 29 N. Loomis St.
  • The Chicago-based flamenco group Las Guitarras de España (The Guitars of Spain) will give a free performance at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, in the theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall, 31 S. Ellsworth St. The group performs Spanish guitar-influenced world music and dance and is influenced by Latin American and Middle Eastern styles, including American jazz.

Sponsors of the festival are North Central’s student club Fusión Española, Student Governing Association and the Office of International Programs. For more information contact Sánchez, North Central adjunct instructor of Spanish, at 630-637-5275.