Fiesta Finale Review
The third annual Fiesta Finale Gala at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse was even more enchanting this year. Next to the brilliant parade of flags, guests were greeted with the best Mojito on the Central Coast . They wandered up the tile staircase to enjoy appetizers, dinner on the balconies, a view of the garden at twilight and art in the Mural Room by a new organization, SCAPE (Southern California Artists Painting the Environment). Then Molly Barbey led the dancing in the Sunken Garden as the Martinez Brothers played Latin-American favorites. As the sun dipped behind the tower, there was a glow from the candle-lit tables set with red linens, decorative flan and centerpieces laden with pastries and grapes. Guests enjoyed this dessert and were served wine and coffee during the performance.
Erin Graffy de Garcia was the MC of a performance that has been called outstanding . Her review of the town's history and it's Fiesta, is a special treat for those new to the community, as well as those who remember the legends and legacies. Francisco Martinez Dancetheatre began the magical evening with 5 girls in flowing white dresses in "Three Peruvian Dances" to the music of Maria Dolores Pradera. Mezzo soprano Tihana Herceg and accompanist Renee Hamaty charmed the audience with some Latin favorites. Contemporary dance star Nancy Colahan brought back Cante Flamenco, a work inspired by La Passionara, a Spanish freedom fighter, choreographed by Jane Dudley in 1944. The State Street Ballet debuted "Mi Corazon" to music by the popular Gipsy Kings. Award winning tenor Robert MacNeil commanded silence as his voice filled the garden. Fascinating Rhythm dancers David Alvares and Juila Maluta created a blend of retro and contemporary versions of "Hernando's Hideaway", and Marcelling de Luna stared as the "painting came to life" with a traditional flamenco "Alegrias" . The crowd of over 3000 was generous with their applause and we'd like to share the story of the 6 children who came to the Children's Party, stayed for the performance, and were translating the Spanish songs for their English speaking guardian. This was their first exposure to some of the classics we love, and we are so very proud of the outstanding professionals who shared the stage!
Mark your calendar for next year, Sunday August 3, 2003!