Flamenco dancing and more inspires crowd at Fiesta Finale Gala
Flamenco dancers expressed their souls during a Fiesta Finale Gala in which the baton was passed from this year’s La Presidenta to next year’s.
Ricardo Chavez & Company emphasized heartfelt emotions during its flamenco dancing and singing at the Profant Foundation for the Arts’ event Sunday. It took place in the Spanish-style courtyard at the historic El Paseo Restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara.
The flamenco company encouraged audience members to cheer “¡Olé!” and the impressed audience did just that.
Dynamics were also stressed during exciting dancing by the Arthur Murray Dancers.
But sometimes it takes just a single voice to make an impression. And on Sunday, that voice belonged to tenor Marco Antonio Labastida, whose Latin serenades inspired romantic glances among couples. And it was incredible to hear just how long Mr. Labastida could sustain a single note and maintain and even expand its power.
Audience members also enjoyed the performances by Jessamyn Vierdo, who performed Kitri Variations from Acts 1 and 3 from a ballet perfect for Fiesta, “Don Quixote.”
And the youngest performers, the SB Piano Brothers, aka Rhyan and Zeyn Shweyk, left the audience smiling. One played the accordion, an instrument perfect for suddenly transporting audience members to Spain. It felt like a journey to another time, another place.
The evening began and ended with the Martinez Brothers performing their Serenade for Dinner and Dancing.
The event also featured legendary pianist Gil Rosas and Tableau Vivant performing “The Melodies of Fiesta.”
All of it was for a good cause, raising money for scholarships.
The fundraising included a lively auction that raised thousands of dollars and included everything from jewelry to a photo reprint with distinct colors that made it look like a painting.
And the crowd heard inspirational remarks from La Presidenta Stephanie Petlow, who passed the baton on to next year’s La Presidenta.
Then audience members yelled, “Viva la Fiesta!”
And they were probably thinking — what else? — “¡Olé!”