El Ritmo – Sol y Sombra Dance Company

Barbara Martinez of Sol y Sombra Spanish Dance Company. Photo by Clyde Berger

Year: 2024-2025
DanceForce Member: Margarita Espada
Artists: David Y Celia,  Maria Loreta Celitan, Rodrigue Edouard, Elisabet Torras
Community Partners: Brentwood Library, Brentwood School District, JVC Broadcasting, Latino Teacher Association, Legislator Samuel Gonzalez, Uplift Our Town
Audience: 1,530
County: Suffolk

From the first sound of our mother’s heartbeat in the womb, to tracking the orbits of the furthest galaxies, we apprehend rhythm as a primary foundation of our cosmos. Rhythm is also the basis of most indigenous dance forms and the primary thrust and attraction of Latin dance styles.

Sol y Sombra’s project, El Ritmo, will explore the many rhythms of Latin dance – from the complex rhythmic sounds of Flamenco’s castanets and footwork to the drumming rhythms underlying the Merengue, Cha cha, Kompa, Bachata, Mambo, Rumba, Habanera/Tango and Salsa, – seeking their origins in the music/dance of India, and that of north and west Africa.

The project is for 3 concerts for various Suffolk communities, with accompanying lecture/demonstration/classes focusing on the rhythms of different Latin Dance styles. New Partners: the Wyandanch Plaza Association, the Middle Country Library, the Latino Leadership Council of Patchogue, and the Islip Arts Council.

The concerts will feature David Y Celia, Spain’s 2018 National Latin Champions; Latin/Haitian dance, and recently seen on Dancing with the Stars, Rodrigue Edouard; the 2019 US Argentine Tango Champions, Andres Bravo & Carolina Jaurena, and Flamenco dancer, Elisabet Torras. Maria Loreta Celitan will facilitate workshops.

Besides performance, the project includes lecture/demonstration on rhythmic foundational principles such as tempo, counter-tempo and syncopation.

Dance workshops will be offered to Brentwood school students. (Sept. 2024)

Performance: Sunday, August 28th 4:00 pm
Wyandanch Arts Plaza Stage, Art in the Plaza Concert Series
Staight Path & 10 Station Drive, Wyandanch, NY

Patchogue Theater, Hispanic Festival
71 East Main St, Patchogue, NY
El Ritmo

Performance, Sunday, Oct. 12th or 13th, time TBA
South Shore Mall Center Stage
1701 Sunrise High, Bayshore, NY

Sol y Sombra Spanish Dance Company was established over thirty-five years ago to promote the exciting art of Latin music & dance. Under the artistic direction of founder/director Maria Loreta, the company presents programs of Flamenco, Spanish Classical & Folk, Mexican, Argentine Tango and Latin Dance as well as traditional dances from throughout the Latin world for concert series and arts-in-education programs.