Mar 3, 2015 - Mar 24, 2015


The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. presented a multidisciplinary festival highlighting the magnificent art of the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking people, their impact around the world, and the global influences they came to embrace.

IBERIAN SUITE: global arts remix
For more than a millennium, the Iberian Peninsula was a vibrant melting pot of people, culture, and religions at the crossroads of Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. When Spanish and Portuguese explorers and conquistadors set sail in the 15th century, the resulting encounters transformed the world, resulting in an extraordinary mingling of arts and cultures. IBERIAN SUITE highlights the magnificent art of the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking people, their impact around the world, and the global influences they came to embrace.
Companies from around the world expressed the myriad influences of Iberian culture through performances of theater, music, and dance.

Mundo Perfeito made its U.S. debut with a double-bill program. Three fingers below the knee chronicles the censorship of theatrical performance during the fascist regime that ruled Portugal for nearly 50 years.

In By Heart, selected audience members are invited to memorize a poem written in English, with the show only ending when each can recite the lines from memory.

Teatro Meridional's Contos em Viagem—Cabo Verde speaks of Cape Verde through the words of Cape Verdean authors in both Portuguese and the native Cape Verdean Creole.

What I Heard About the World, performed by Portuguese theater company Mala Voadora and English company Third Angel, is a comedic series of thought-provoking and topical vignettes that attempt to describe a world that seems to get bigger by the day.

Jazz and world singer Carmen Souza was born in Lisbon within a family of Cape Verdeans, and grew up speaking Portuguese and Creole, the local dialect her parents spoke at home.

Vocalist Sílvia Pérez Cruz and guitarist Raül Fernández Miró from Spain perform a unique blend of jazz, flamenco, and fado music.

Arakaendar Choir and Orchestra, founded upon the rich history of Baroque musical manuscripts found in the missions of Bolivia, performs music in Latin, as well as in their seven native dialects.

Al Andalusyun ensemble re-creates the age-old rhythms and melodies of Arab Andalusian music.

Cuban-born pianist Iván "Melon" Lewis and his Continuum Quartet push the timba technique right to the heart of their music, instantly creating recognizable melodies brought to the summits of sophistication.

Aldo López Gavilán and Jorge Luis Pacheco are two of Cuba's top jazz pianists.

María Concepción Balboa Buika (Concha Buika) is an internationally recognized singer and prolific recording artist from Majorca who has earned multiple awards, including two Latin Grammys.

Manhattan Camerata explores the connections between Argentine tango and Portuguese fado.

Carminho, one of Portugal's best-loved fado singers, performed several selections of her country's "soul music" with the National Symphony Orchestra.

PostClassical Ensemble's program, Iberian Mystics: The Confluence of Faiths, featured the Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble, comprised of four accomplished Arab musicians.

Inspired by the ebb and flow of Islamic, Catholic, and Jewish influences prior to the 1492 Reconquista, Trio Sefardi and others celebrated seven centuries of a rich and thriving multicultural world on the Iberian peninsula.

Saxophonist Moreira Chonguiça from Mozambique performs contemporary African jazz with his ensemble.

American soprano Harolyn Blackwell joined Orquestra Jovem do Estado for a program of symphonic music from Brazil.

Founded in 1979 in Brazil, this youth orchestra from São Paulo State made its United States debut at the Kennedy Center. Under the direction of maestro Cláudio Cruz, Orquestra Jovem do Estado has toured Brazil and Europe.

José André, a nine-year-old Latin jazz phenom from Bolivia who is blind, made his U.S. debut.

Companhia Portuguesa de Bailado Contemporâneo performed Fado, Rituals and Shadows, a work about the national music genre of Portugal.

María Muñoz, Artistic Director of Spain's Mal Pelo dance company, brought the U.S. premiere of her evocative 2004 solo piece Bach.

Tania Pérez-Salas, one of Mexico's most accomplished contemporary dancers and choreographers, brought a new work, Made in Mexico XX.

Made in Mexico XX features interwoven images rooted in Pérez-Salas's perspective as a Mexican artist, with music representing a collage of Mexican composers.

Artists from around the globe explored Iberian culture through installations, fashion, and visual art.

Manuela Pimentel's installation Se eu pudesse trincar a terra toda ("If I could sink my teeth into the whole earth") is named for a poem by Alberto Caeiro.

Manuela Pimentel pays tribute to the rich tradition of Portugal's Azulejo (painted, tin-glazed tile work) by creating her own—not from ceramics, but from layers of paper, posters, and messages coated with resin.

Manuela Pimentel says her work is "based on the stories that I have created from that which I see on the walls in the street or, in other words, that which the street passes onto me."

Installing Alexandre Farto's Perspectiva/Perspective in the Hall of Nations

Alexandre Farto (known as Vhils) is an internationally acclaimed urban artist who uses an array of mediums including cork, wood, paper, explosives, Styrofoam, and metal.

Nuno Vasa's installation is a cable car like those in Lisbon constructed of cork.

Nuno Vasa is known for sculptures, paintings, installations, and performances that express his personal reflections on quotidian life and surroundings, human relationships, and the human condition.

The installation So Blue So White—Fashions Centuries in the Making reflects the international passion for blue-and-white designs that continues to this day after Portuguese trading ships brought Chinese porcelain to Europe.

Portugal's Storytailors atelier created two whimsical gowns commissioned especially for the festival.

Launched in Lisbon in 2001 by João Branco (Portuguese) and Luis Sanchez (Venezuelan), Storytailors eschews the seasonal fashion calendar, creating wildly whimsical looks that are meant to be timeless and appeal to fashion mavens.

Storytailors' inspiration comes from musicals, legends, superstitions—even fairytales of their own invention.

Gown by Storytailors

Gown by Storytailors

Designs by NE•TIGER, China’s leading fashion and luxury brand. The company’s design philosophy is to integrate past and present, and to meld Chinese and Western influences.

Gown by NE•TIGER (detail)

Guo Pei, one of the top fashion designers in China today, creates award-winning couture collections renowned for celebrating Chinese history and culture.

Gowns by Guo Pei

Gown by Guo Pei (detail)

Paris haute couture house On Aura Tout Vu was founded by Portuguese André de sà Pessoa (since deceased) and Bulgarians Livia Stoianova and Yassen Samouilov.

Gown by On Aura Tout Vu (detail)

American artist Scott Gundersen used approximately 40,000 wine corks to create larger-than-life portraits of four masters of Spanish- and Portuguese-language letters for his installation Triptych + One. Pictured here is Federico García Lorca.

Gabriel García Márquez by Scott Gundersen

Gabriela Mistral by Scott Gundersen

Jorge Amado by Scott Gundersen

Time lapse of Scott Gundersen creating a cork portrait

The festival offered food and wine tastings to highlight the gastronomic influences of the Iberian peninsula.

A Taste of Spain

A Taste of Mexico

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Credits: Story

IBERIAN SUITE: global arts remix

Presented in cooperation with the governments of Portugal and Spain

Presenting Underwriter
HRH Foundation

Honorary Chairman
His Majesty King Juan Carlos

Festival Leadership Committee
José Andrés, Natalia and Carlos Bulgheroni, Helen Lee Henderson, Amalia Perea Mahoney,
Former President Felipe González Márquez, The Honorable Luis Alberto Moreno, and David M. Rubenstein

Festival Benefactors
Governo de Portugal
Ambassador Elizabeth F. Bagley, Natalia and Carlos Bulgheroni,
Amalia Perea Mahoney and William Mahoney, and David and Alice Rubenstein

Major Sponsors
Arte Institute
Caixa Geral de Depositos
Camões Instituto da Cooperaçao e da Lingua Portugal
Fundação Luso-Americano
Marca Espana
Spain Arts & Culture
José Andrés Think Food Group
Wines of Portugal
Additional support is provided by The Honorable and Mrs. Thomas F. McLarty, III and Repsol.

Picasso Ceramist and the Mediterranean
Presenting Underwriter HRH Foundation

International Programming at the Kennedy Center is made possible through the generosity of the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts.


David M. Rubenstein
Deborah F. Rutter
Vice President, International
Programming and Dance
Festival Curator
Alicia B. Adams

Director, International Programming
Festival Co-Curator and Manager
Gilda Almeida

Exhibition and Installations Design
Studio Adrien Gardère
Adrien Gardère
Mathieu Muin

So Blue So White
Fashions Centuries in the Making
Karen Taylor

Literature Series
Marie Arana

Mickey Berra, Vice President
Glenn Turner, Head of Production Operations
Deirdre Kelly Lavrakas, Production

Festival Staff
Assistants: Annette Dumas, Sara Ross,
Jeanne Sobel, Kathi Reynolds
Volunteer: Debra Simon

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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