Humans the world over express themselves through movement, but we sometimes forget just how much we can learn about a culture from its dances, which can vary as much as language or cuisine. The Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater was founded 36 years ago in Chicago. Aiming to share Spain's rich artistic history and to spread flamenco and folk traditions far and wide, the dancers tour the world as well as the United States. The ensemble stops in St. Louis this weekend as the guest of Dance St. Louis, dancing up a red-hot streak at the University of Missouri's Touhill Performing Arts Center (1 University Drive at Natural Bridge Road; 314-516-4949 or www.touhill.org). On Friday, January 27, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, January 28, at 2 and 8 p.m., 40 performers ignite a passion for all things Spanish dance through several pieces, including a presentation of Maurice Ravel's rhythmic Boléro. Tickets cost $28 to $50.
Jan. 27-28, 8 p.m.; Sat., Jan. 28, 2 p.m., 2012