Noche Havana heated up Palomar’s Studio Theatre on Oct. 16.
Noche Havana, billed as an evening of Cuban music and dance, was directed by Patriceann Mead, Palomar’s Performing Art’s Department Chair and Dance Professor.
The evening started with a salsa class for the guests taught by Mead and Silfredo La O Vigo, a graduate from the National School of Arts in Havana Cuba. Everyone was welcome to join, regardless of skill level.
Mead led a routine for the women while La O Vigo led the men. The dance floor was split in half and started with basic steps. After the basics were learned, the guests paired up and began to swing their hips dance to the Latin music. The guests all appeared to enjoy themselves, judging from the laughing and smiles around the room.
Following the salsa class, the guests took their seats around the colorfully lit stage. Behind an assortment of instruments, silhouettes of tall palm trees served as a tropical backdrop.
The performance started with a choreographed dance by Mead and La O Viga, picking up the pace of the evening while guests could feel the vibrations of the music.
Every dancer, musician and vocalist at Noche Havana performed with incredible enthusiasm, cheered on by the clapping guests. Throughout the evening there were a variety of dance performances with songs from various vocalists and musicians. Most songs and dances were performed by Agogo, an Afro-Cuban and Brazilian Drum and Dance ensemble, with other songs performed by La Farándula. The variety of instruments included guitar, bongo drums, trumpet, bass, trombone, and more.
Each act had it’s own style with a wide array of colorful costumes conveying Cuban culture, designed by Mead. The costumes ranged from fairly simple to extremely complex with layers of ruffles and sequins, all perfectly flowing with the dancers’ movements. In one performance, the dancers wore crowns with layers of beads masking their faces.
Noche Havana was a lively night, courtesy of the vibrant music, colorful costumes, and talented dancers.