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"If you have a stone and you keep dropping water on it, eventually you will get a hole there... you are so persistent... you just keep going."

Dame Libby Komaiko founded Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater in 1975. She studied dance as a child with Elisa Stigler and Gus Giordano, performed in Jose Greco's Spanish Dance Company, and partnered with Roberto Lorca for many years. She was Professor Emerita at Northeastern Illinois University and was the recipient of many awards, including a Ruth Page Award, the Audience Architect Legacy Award, and the Lazo de Dama de Isabel la Catolica by the Spanish Royal Court and government.

September 09, 2015: Conducted in the studios of Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, the company she founded in 1975, Dame Libby Komaiko shares in this interview memories of studying with Elisa Stigler and dancing with Jose Greco. She recounts the early years of directing Ensemble Español and some of her favorite works and performances of the company. On the occasion of its 40th anniversary, Dame Libby reflects on how the company has evolved over time.

spanish dancer in a long black dance with castanets

"I'm dancing because of Elisa [Stigler]. She was so kind"

"When I danced, I danced like crazy."

"My day would go from 6:00 in the morning until 10:00 at night when the university closed."

"Good things are going to happen to them because they had some art in their lives."

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