Traumatized by their experiences in war-torn Syria, a father and daughter dream of escape to a Spain where their ancestors once built a different kind of civilization: one grounded in peace, tolerance and the joys of artistic expression. But when a desperate rescue at sea leaves them separated, it seems their refugee journey is destined to end in tragedy. Can their faith in the possibilities of a better life sustainthem through this final, agonizing trial?
Told through the songs and dances of flamenco by a critically acclaimed ensemble of musicians, including Carlo Basile and Ronnie Malley of Surabhi Ensemble, Rose of Damascus features guest flamenco singer Vicente Griego, guitarist Diego Alonso, cellist Kinan Abou-afach, percussionist Kassandra Kocoshis, dancers from Studio Mangiameli, an original script by Emmy award-winning writer Benjamin Lumpkin and artwork by artist Jim Hajicek.
A native Italian, Chiara Lucia Mangiameli is a graduate of The Theater School at DePaul University. Her performance career spanning almost twenty-five years includes roles in Mary Zimmerman's Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci, as well as Arthur Laurents' Time Of The Cuckoo at New York's Lincoln Center. Most recently, Mangiameli shared the stagewith celebrity chef Rick Bayless in the Lookingglass Theatre's groundbreaking production Cascabel.
Chiara Mangiameli's education in flamenco began sixteen years ago in Seville, Spain. She has since collaborated with critically acclaimed groups such as The Guitars Of Spain and Ensemble Español Spanish Dance
Theater, as well as music institutions such as Fulcrum Point and Chicago Sinfonietta. Under her direction, Studio Mangiameli is one of the fastest growing studios devoted to Flamenco in the greater Chicago area. In 2016, Mangiameli was invited to perform at the internationally renowned Albuquerque Flamenco Festival. Rose of Damascus marks the fifth production conceived, directed and choreographed by Chiara Mangiameli.