An Evening of Spanish Music & Dance at SF Is April 17

Photograph of Sarah Harkness-Sebastian by Rick McCullough

The influence of classical Spanish music on the Latin American cultures of the New World will be explored in “An Evening of Spanish Music and Dance” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 17, 2015, in the Fine Arts Hall at the Northwest Campus of Santa Fe College, 3000 NW 83 Street, Gainesville.

Tickets are $15 main floor and $12 balcony for adults; $9 for seniors, children and University of Florida students; and free for Santa Fe College faculty, staff and students with college identification cards. For ticket information, call the Box Office at 352-395-4181 or visit the Fine Arts ticket website at:

http://www.sfcollege.edu/finearts

“The evening will be a blend of Spanish and Latin American music and dance and will feature performances from student guest artists,” explained Dance Professor Sarah Harkness-Sebastian, who is collaborating with Music Professor and pianist Mitch McKay to stage the production. The two professors, who started teaching at SF College the same year and who each received tenure this year, were inspired to work together when they discovered their common California backgrounds and interests in Spanish arts.

Harkness-Sebastian said that the dancers, some of whom are international students, brought their expertise in ballet, flamenco, mambo, merengue “and everything in between” to the creation of a signature phrase of movement that embodied what they had to share from their home countries. Along the way, they shared information about those cultures and dances with other students involved in the production. Once the students had created their signature movements, they worked with Harkness-Sebastian and McKay to expand that movement into dances that visually express the musical selections.

“I’ll be playing live for every portion of the program,” McKay said, “and performing only one or two pieces without the dancers. We’re aiming for seamless transitions that also include information for the audience about what they will hear and see.”

Harkness-Sebastian will be performing with the dancers. “This program extends the long tradition of collaboration within the Fine Arts Department,” she said. “We’re working very closely with our lighting designer, Liz Reynolds, and the whole process has been a dynamic cultural exchange for our students.”

The classical composers whose music will be featured include Isaac Albeniz, Teresa Carreno, Ignacio Cervantes and Manuel De Falla.

For more information about the program, call Harkness-Sebastian at 352-395-5674 or McKay at 352-395-5144. For more information about the Fine Arts Department or Fine Arts Hall, call Alora Haynes at 352-395-5296.

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Mitch McKay