Get an Exclusive Preview of Studio Mangiameli Flamenco Show!

Do you like flamenco or are interested in exploring this dance form? Then take advantage of this opportunity! Studio Mangiameli is inviting four of you, Chicago Urbanite followers,   to attend a final dress rehearsal and get a  sneak peek of its upcoming annual student showcase on Thursday May 29th.  The show is titled Tides and it is an exploration of the moments that leave indelible marks on human lives and alter the landscape of identity. Tides features original live music from some of Chicago’s most recognized flamenco and world music players, including Carlo Basile (Las Guitarras De España), guitarist Diego Alonso and percussionist Bob Garrett, soon to appear in Sting’s new musical, The Last Ship. World-renowned flamenco singer Vicente “El Cartucho” Griego will be this year’s very special guest.

Just leave a comment down below and I will include your name on the guest list. In the meantime, here is a short but insightful interview with Chiara Mangiameli, the director and creator of Tides, about her life-changing experience with flamenco and her inspiration for this show.


Please tell us about your background and how you got involved with flamenco.

I have a strong background in theater and additionally I dabbled in various forms of dance throughout my youth and adulthood, from ballet to tap to African dance. Nothing stuck until I found flamenco. The truth is the Gypsy Kings were what got me interested in the more traditional Andalusian art form. I fell in love with the percussive sound of the guitar and the unmistakable melisma of the voice. Ironically I knew nothing of the dance form but once I took my first class, I never looked back and eventually ended up in Seville several times over the course of a few years to immerse myself completely in the music and culture. The inherently dramatic and individualistic emphasis of this dance style felt like a perfect fit.


This production is inspired by stories of critical moments in your students’ lives. Can you recall one story in particular that specially touched you?

First, let me say that I tend to draw inspiration from my students because I’m always amazed and touched by the amount of resilience and dedication they have. Everyone that so generously shared a piece of their private life with me had a very moving and genuine story. I can’t say that there was one in particular that touched me more than another, simply because there are aspects of all the stories that I found myself relating to, whether as a dancer, an immigrant, a daughter, a woman.


Why should we go see your show? What can we expect?

I strive to present dance and particularly flamenco, in a context that illustrates more than a choreography or a series of movements accompanied by music. I’m interested in why we choose to dance, what makes us vulnerable, transparent, what allows us to relate to each other as human beings. You can expect beautiful original music by my incredible collaborators, a special guest flamenco singer who will knock your socks off, and forty plus dancers that have been looking forward to this show for eight months and have a clear voice and point of view about their place on that stage. My hope is that the audience will be able to relate to some of the stories they hear because at the end of the day, we all have our struggles with navigating the changing tides.


Performances will take place at the Vittum Theater, 1012 N Noble Street in Chicago, on May 30 and May 31st at 7:30PM CST and on June 1st at 4:30PM CST. Tickets are $25 and $15 for children ages 12 and under. Parking is free.

Get Tickets

Tides Show Studio Mangiameli



This weekend: Flamenco “Quejios” with Chiara Mangiameli


Directed and created by Chiara Mangiameli, whom the Chicago Tribune hailed as a “formidable flamenco dancer” for her work alongside Rick Bayless in the 2012 Lookingglass Theater production of Cascabel, “Quejios – Cries In The Air” is inspired by the emotional range and power of the flamenco voice.

Showcasing the traditional songs and dances of Andalusia thread together by original poetry from Madrid-based writer Luis Lorente and soundscapes designed by Static Studios, the show will take audiences on a journey from the joy and sensuality of a “cantinas” to the sorrowful, unrelenting rhythm of a “seguiriya” all the while showcasing the talents of student dancers, from the novice to the most advanced, alongside Chiara Mangiameli performing her new solo work. Featuring some of Chicago’s best flamenco and world music musicians, this year will also add guest singer and Seville native Alfonso Cid to the line-up. Other performers will include Carlo Basile and Diego Alonso on guitars and Bob Garrett on percussion.

Performances will take place at the Vittum Theater, 1012 N Noble Street in Chicago, on May 31st and June 1st at 8pm. A June 2nd performance at 5pm will be followed by a show discussion and meet and greet with the artists. Tickets are $25 and $15 for children ages12 and under.


Recommended for tonight: From the Arctic to the Middle East(Broken Narratives by an American Flamenco Dancer)


Is it possible to combine the intricate presentational aspects of flamenco in a vital contemporary context? Wendy Clinard attempts to do that in her latest multimedia show. Clinard Dance Theatre is proud to present From the Arctic to the Middle East (Broken Narratives by an American Flamenco Dancer) tonight at 8:00 p.m., and tomorrow April 22 at 7:00 p.m. at Links Hall 3435 N. Sheffield Avenue, Suite 207, Chicago, IL 60657.

Artistic Director Wendy Clinard leads you on a journey inspired by travels with her daughter to Syria while reading the Arctic travel epic, Kaloona. The work fuses connections between the ancient and the modern, the spiritual and the physical, and those between the essences of struggle and celebration. Clinard questions the forces that shape human history and interdependence. From the Arctic to the Middle East (Broken Narratives by an American Flamenco Dancer) uses the timeless tools of story, song, music, and dance to provide an odyssey and a sense of transcendence which gives the feeling that the journey has just begun.

I recently met Wendy at her dance studio in Pilsen for a conversation about this show. Wendy is a thoughtful, passionate and enthusiastic artist from Chicago that I had the pleasure to know as a flamenco teacher. As her student, I learned that in Flamenco it is vital to be yourself. This is something she learned herself from her teachers in Spain. As an American learning Flamenco, she was encouraged to embrace her own identity and be genuine. Flamenco is about self-expression, and about taking a body of knowledge and work it with your life experience. It is about including people rather than excluding them. In fact, the roots of flamenco come from people from different cultures that were in itinerary camps exchanging ideas and needing to express their hardships. Likewise, ideas are now being exchanged rapidly at a global level; however, when we are exposed to cultural differences, we often get defensive and we try to impose our own worldviews on them. Wendy states that instead of having an attitude of separation, we should see these differences with a sense of curiosity. To her, exposure to Flamenco allowed her to see difference and diversity in this light.

She became interested in Flamenco when, as a painter living in NYC, she tried to sketch a flamenco dance class. The drawings she produced were meek compared to the feelings she had while looking at the dancers perform. She thought that by experiencing the movement of flamenco in her own body she would be able to better capture the feelings she experienced. She started taking flamenco lessons in pursuit of being a better painter. She never ever thought of becoming a dancer. It was not something planned, it was just a path that opened to her and she followed it. Painting to her was introspective, but with dancing she started to work on lifting and and grounding herself. Unlike painting, which is very loose and free, dancing has rules to follow. Having rules to express yourself and to grow was very satisfying to her. She became immersed in the Flamenco dance world, and people started introducing her as a Flamenco dancer without her being aware of this new identity.

To Wendy, Flamenco is a dance form that welcomes a true seeker and that requires discipline, humility and love. And she dances for love. Flamenco is an activity that is deeply connected to her personal life and this is expressed in her work. For example, “ From the Arctic to the Middle East” is inspired by her daughter Sophie. The idea for this piece grew from a personal reflection during a trip they took to Syria and contemplating Sophie’s adaptation to a different environment. During that time, she was reading the Arctic travel epic Kaloona. Wendy started collecting picture files of personal events happening during this trip and quotes from the book that were inspiring to her. She started connecting the dots between them, and discovered a common theme. She found that what started as something very anecdotal became something universal. Her motif for this piece is to pull back from our usual way of seeing common things and to look at them from a different perspective. Through a combination of dancing, and hearing sounds, music, and text , she attempts to offer an opening to people to shift perspectives. The piece talks about biology, psychology, spirituality, and individual growth. Wendy is looking for a dialogue with her audience and for intimacy to occur together. She also hopes that the piece inspire people to have the courage to express and be themselves. She wants people to connect through her work, to reconsider, pause, and feel that it is okay to be who you are and talk about life in different ways. The gift she wants to give through her work as an artist and as a teacher is to allow people to be themselves, to connect, and to create dialogue. If you want to find more information about Wendy, her current production, and her classes, visit her website at

This Saturday 8/27: World Music Meets Hip Hop for a Good Cause

Join b-boy Kid Jungle, a local Chicago dancer who actively promotes positive Hip Hop culture and founder of T.A.F. dance group, for an eclectic night of talent and culture.  This event will have B-boy battles, Poppers, Capoeira, Flamenco, Belly dance, Salsa, and House under one roof and going on ALLLL night!!!  Local dancers and musicians are coming together to perform at this event for a good cause: to raise funds to pay the medical expenses of Jungle’s daughter Jada Marie, who has been dealing with major medical issues since she was born.  Jungle believes that through music and dance we can unite people from different walks of life under one roof to help raise funds for Jada. All proceeds will go straight to her medical and travel expenses.

Here are more details of the event:


Event showcasing music and dances from all genres from Reggae, Hip Hop/Breakdance battles, Belly Dance, Capoeira, Flamenco, Salsa, Bachata, House, Drum N Bass.  The theme of the night will be World Music meets Hip Hop!!

Guest performances:

– 1 on 1 B-boy battle exhibitions

– All Bgirl performance by Dirty Sneakers Crew

– Chicago Popping Legends Robot M.A.F.I.A.



-Belly dance with Johanna

-Flamenco with Cristina and Vanessa

– 4 Stars (Haitian Rap)

DJ’s for the night

– DJ EDouble of PHAZE II CHICAGO spinning the b-boy breaks

-DJ Sean Owens spinning house with afro and latin beats

-DJ BumbleBee spinning drum n bass!!

-DJ Man o God spinning dat boom bap Hip Hop flava!

Hosted by Kid Jungle and Drunken Monkeee

To raise money for Jungles’ daughter medical expenses

Multi-Kulti 1000 N. Milwaukee Ave. 4th floor.  A lounge/art space that has carpeted floors, couches, and several rooms.  Cozy and intimate but big enough to hold a lot of people.  21 and over.

This Saturday Aug. 27th from 9pm til 4am. Donations only and greatly appreciated.

If you need any more info or have questions please contact Jungle at

Unique opportunity to take Flamenco Workshops in Chicago with Spanish bailaora Almudena Serrano

Almudena Serrano
July 26-August 4, 2011

featuring live guitar by Jose Cortes “Panzekito”

PLEASE RSVP: by facebook,
email (TierraRojaFlamenco@gmail. com),
or phone (312.450.1332).
Born in Port of Santa Maria, Spain, and at thirteen years she began her studies of flamenco at the flamenco school of Angelita Gómez, while also receiving instruction in ballet at the school of Belén Fernández in Jerez de la Frontera. Afterward, she attended the Matilde Coral Center of Dance in Sevilla on scholarship. There, she trained with artists such as El Mimbre, Manolo Marín, Eva la Yerbabuena, Alejandro Granados, Mario Maya, and Merche Esmeralda. The latter invited her to join her company in the production “Ciclos,” which brought Serrano to Madrid. There, she continued her studies with La China, El Guito, Manolete, Domingo Ortega, Joaquín Grilo, and Rafael Amargo, among others. Serrano is a former member in the companies of Merche Esmeralda, Carmen Greco, and Cristina Hoyos, has performed at the Festival de Jerez, and was finalist in el Concurso Nacional de Cordoba (first prize in Buleria de Carmen Amaya).


July 26th-12:00-1:00 pm
July 27th-12:00-1:00 pm
July 28th-12:00-1:00 pm
July 29th- 6:00-7:00 pm
July 30th- 6:00-7:00 pm

July 26th-1:00-2:00 pm
July 27th-1:00-2:00 pm
July 28th-1:00-2:00 pm
July 29th-7:00-8:00 pm
July 30th-7:00-8:00 pm

July 31st- 2:00-3:00 pm
August 1st- 2:00-3:00 pm
August 2nd- 2:00-3:00 pm
August 3rd- 2:00-3:00 pm
August 4th- 2:00-3:00 pm

July 31st- 3:00-4:00 pm
August 1st- 3:00-4:00 pm
August 2nd- 3:00-4:00 pm
August 3rd- 3:00-4:00 pm
August 4th- 3:00-4:00 pm

Per Hour: $60
5 Hours: $250 (savings of $50)
10 hours: $450 (savings of $150)
PRIVATE CHOREOGRAPHY (w/ live guitar accompaniment): $500

Chicago Flamenco Community gets together at Las Guitarras de España concert

Saturday, July 23 · 7:30pm – 10:30pm

Mayne Stage
1328 Morse Ave

I love Flamenco. I was hooked to it after connecting to its passionate energy at my first live Flamenco performance back in Lima many years ago. Being a Flamenco lover, I am always looking for opportunities in Chicago to experience this art form. So this Saturday I will have my so much needed dose of Flamenco thanks to Las Guitarras de España (The Guitars of Spain). “Las Guitarras” is a fabulous “world music” ensemble from Chicago that performs a fusion of Cuban son, rumba, R&B, Latin-jazz, blues, and African percussion with an underlying flamenco music and dance focus. As part of their “Flamenco Collaborations Series” at Mayne Stage, Las Guitarras De Espana will headline an evening celebrating flamenco dance featuring students of local teachers such as Melody Vasquez, Karen Stelling,The Flamenco Arts Center, Clinard Dance Theater, Urban Arts Flamenco Project, Edna Manteca and the Chiara Mangiameli Ensemble. This is a unique opportunity to see most of the Flamenco community in Chicago together in one show. For tickets and venue info, visit

Do you want to win tickets to this show?

The guys from Las Guitarras are giving away two tickets to the followers of Chicago Urbanite. So, if you want to get one of these tickets, just leave a comment in this post. The first two people leaving a comment get one ticket each. Good luck and see you this Saturday at Mayne Stage!

World Music & Dance Agenda for Tonight

Hello  Urbanites!

Tonight we have many good world music options to explore in Chicago. These are:

Music Without Borders – Dandana: A Celebration of Muslim Voices featuring Hakim + Alim Qasimov Ensemble

Ensemble Espanol’s Duende Flamenco Music and Dance Concerts,

Colombia Vive Chicago 10th Anniversary and 3rd Annual Fundraiser, and

Las BomPleneras Debut @ Fiestas Patronales Puertorriqueñas Chicago.

Click on the  Calendar link on the right column of this page for further information.

Happy world music adventures!

This weekend: Chicago’s Blues Festival and more

The Chicago Blues Festival and CUBE: Chicago Underground Blues Experience

The Chicago Blues Festival, the largest free blues festival in the world and  the largest of Chicago’s Music Festivals is in full swing right now. The local Blues dance community is organizing an event called CUBE: Chicago Underground Blues Experience 2011 in which they serve as guides to all the best our fine city has to offer in live music, local blues joints, evening dances and all-out fun. More information at and

2710 N. Milwaukee Ave. 10pm-3am
Join Aguzate & Sound Culture on Fridays and Saturdays as they remix the world!
They’ll be hanging out and playing the best in Afro Latin, Tropical Bass, Global beats and International grooves in the heart of Logan Square.
D’Noche is an intimate lounge that serves up cocktails and pan-latin cuisine. (Kitchen is open until 11 pm). Patio is open.Free Parking in the Rear.
See menu and drink selection: 
No Cover, Drink Specials, Friends, Family, and Global Grooves.

Sonic Diaspora at Butterfly Social Club

722 W Grand Chicago 9pm-3am

On the second Saturdays of each month, Brotha Onaci and guest selectahs play the best music of Africa and the African Diaspora, including Afrobeat, High Life, Soukous, Afro-House, Afro-Latin, and much more. This month DJs AfroQbano, Sherwin O and David Nallah Marques will be holding down rhythmic sets to keep you dancing all night long. No Cover

Red Rat (Jamaican Dance Hall Reggae)

Cubby Bear (1059 W Addison St. Chicago) $10-20

Also featuring Chicagos own “Kofi” & DJ Slacky J

Andersonville Midsommarfest 

Clark St. betwen Foster and Balmoral)
Midsommarfest is one of Chicago’s most unique street fairs. Born out of Andersonville’s Swedish heritage, Midsommarfest retains its quaint, international flavor. Old-world Swedish traditions, including a festive dance around the Maypole, are incorporated into an unrivaled array of entertainment for families and adults. Click here for the list of world music performances at this fest, which include Funkadesi , Chicago Afrobeat Project, and Chicago Samba

Chiara Mangiamelli Ensemble
“A spectacular ensemble! Captivating and inspiring… With every move, Chiara Mangiameli brings vitality to the stage. Her performance was spectacular in every regard – from the circle of her wrist to her rhythmic footwork, Ms. Mangiameli captivated every member of our audience!”- Christina Salerno, Director for Salt Creek Ballet.
Uncommon Ground on Devon 9.30pm $15
1401 W. Devon Ave, Chicago

Balkan Sounds Party

DJ Romasoul(Balkan beats via Chicago house) and DJ MG (“Turkish remix master”), two of the most famous Deejays of Balkan origin in the Greater Chicago area are coming together at the Stone Lotus downstairs lounge for one of the most attractive summer kick-off parties of the year.
Stone Lotus 10pm password “balkan” $5 before 11, and $10 thereafter.
873 N. Orleans Street, Chicago

Latin and World music tonight at  ñ

The people at  ñ invite us to another wonderful musical evening with Mauro Frosio trio ( old world music and tango ) and DJ Charrua ( Electronic and Latin beats )They promise a  great atmosphere, authentic Latin food and exotic cocktails along with great Latin music that includes salsa, bachata, merengue, mambo, cumbia and electronic music. No cover

Show starts at 9pm, party until 2am.

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