Skip to main content

Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater Collection

Identifier: Dance-MS-Ensemble Espanol

Scope and Content of the Collection

Mainly photographs of Komaiko, other Spanish dancers, and performances of the Ensemble Español, 1974-2003. Also, clippings, flyers, posters, programs, a few pieces of miscellany, and two copies of a videotape, “The First 20 Years”, a documentary showing the history and performances of Komaiko’s life’s work.


  • Creation: 1974-2003



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater Collection is open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Conditions Governing Audiovisual Access

Audiovisual recordings in this collection have not been digitized and are unavailable for use at this time.

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater Collection is the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

History of the Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater

American dance company.

The Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater was founded in Chicago in 1976 by Libby Komaiko (later Libby Komaiko Fleming, 1949-2019). This company of forty dancers, singers and musicians is in residence at Northeastern Illinois University where Komaiko was Professor of Dance in the Department of Music. Komaiko showed great promise in Spanish dance as a young student, having studied in Spain and the United States with Maria Alba, Nana Lorca, Lola Montes, Jose Greco, Elise Stigler, Edo, Manolo Vargas, Paul Haakon, Maria Magdalena, Pedro Azorin, Ciro, Pacita Tomas and Roberto Lorca.

Komaiko was the recipient of numerous awards and honors. In 1982, she received the Lazo de Dama de la Orden de Isabel la Catolica (Ribbon of the Dame), bestowed by His Majesty Don Juan Carlos, King of Spain, in recognition of her achievements in promoting the artistic, cultural and educational values of the Spanish tradition throughout the United States. In 2003, she won the Ruth Page Award in Chicago for her twenty-seven years as a dancer, choreographer, producer, director and teacher.

Komaiko has been recognized by the City of Chicago for her service to young people, having created the All City Junior Ensemble Español, made up of scholarship students from Chicago and suburban schools. She also founded the annual American Spanish Dance Festival, and was a sought-after choreographer and master teacher throughout the country.


1.7 Linear Feet (1 box and 1 oversize folder)


Material collected by Libby Komaiko, founder of the Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, relating to her and the dance company. Consists mostly of photographs of Komaiko and other dancers, plus a few clippings, flyers, posters, programs, and miscellaneous pieces. Also, two copies of a videotape entitled “The First 20 Years, 1976-1996.”


Arranged alphabetically by type of material.

Collection Stack Location

3a 48 6


Gift of Dame Libby Komaiko, 2004.

Processed by

Virginia Hay Smith.

Inventory of the Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theater Collection, 1974-2003
Virginia Hay Smith
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 08/18/2011: Revisions, additions, and updates were made.

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States