Footlight Dance offers lecture-demonstrations on Latin
music and dance
By ADAM TANOUS
Express Arts Editor
Salsa Celebration—Latin Music and Dance is a
week-long program presented by the Footlight Dance Centre, intended to
educate dance lovers about the historical development of Latin music and
its influence on dance forms. The program, which travels to area schools
the week of Feb. 5 through Feb. 9, will be a combination of lecture and
Thirty-five dancers from the Wood River Middle School,
High School and The Community School will participate in the program, to
be narrated by Footlight Dance director Hilarie Neely. Latin dances, of
which there are several, have had a direct influence on social, jazz, tap
and folk dance forms.
By way of demonstration, dancers will perform to music by
Los Romeros, Ricky Martin, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass and music
from the ballet Don Quixote.
Neely has prepared a fairly extensive history of the
development of Latin dances. She has incorporated that history into the
program. According to Neely, much of the development of Latin dances
occurred during the settlement of the New World. Spanish settlers brought
with them folk dances, of which flamenco was one. Those dances mixed with
the dances of the African slaves working the fields and mines.
Some of the more recognizable forms that Neely and her
dancers will address are the rumba, mambo, cha-cha-cha, conga and salsa.
The dance demonstration will be at Bellevue Elementary on
Monday at 9 a.m., Carey School (10 a.m.) and Hailey Elementary (2 p.m.) on
Tuesday, The Community School on Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 8:45 a.m., the Wood
River High School on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 9:30 a.m. and at the Wood River
Middle School on Friday, Feb. 9, at 2:20 p.m.