June 21, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Santa Barbara’s State St Ballet Graces The Broad Stage:

“An American Tango – The Story of Veloz and Yolanda” pays homage to Frank Veloz and Yolanda Casazza Veloz, a very famous dance couple in the 1930s and 1940s who graced the cover of “Life Magazine” which declared them the Number One Ballroom Dance Couple in America. At the height of their careers, they were earning $8,000 a week, a huge amount of money for that period.

Their colorful lives are re-enacted through the dazzling dance narrative conceived and written by their son Guy Veloz, and choreographed and directed by William Soleau.

Two performances were held at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica on Sept. 21 and 22.

With a profusion of stunning gowns designed by A. Christina Gianni, based on Yolanda’s original wardrobe, this highly accomplished company takes us back to the prohibition era when Dutch Schultz dominated the gangster scene and became the dance team’s benefactor. 

With the guidance of some of their seedy friends, Veloz and Yolanda took their dancing from dives in Havana and Miami to an unprecedented appearance at Carnegie Hall and a rare performance at the famous Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles where they continued to dazzle audiences with their grace and beauty.

In a dance journey back in time, dances of a particular era, illustrated through vintage photos in the Multimedia Design by David Bazemore and William Soleau with shots of soup kitchens, tenement buildings, and beer barrels, the skilled company brought back to life popular dances of that era including the Cake Walk Lindy, Charleston, Waltzes and the impeccably executed Tango, all of which were accompanied by the traditional music of that time composed by Aaron Copland, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Fats Waller, Angel Villoldo, Ismael Betancor, Jimmy McHugh, Lalo Schifrin, and Astor Piazzolla.

The story moved forward through the use of the narrator and the team’s manager Auggie, played by Joseph Fuqua, who broke the fourth wall and spoke directly to the audience and then seamlessly joined the dance action.  Two highly skilled dancers played the dance team – Jack Stewart as Veloz and Leila Drake as Yolanda – both of who embodied this famous couple, and took us through the good times and the bad. 

We see, through dance sequences, Veloz’s propensity for gambling, excessive drinking, and cheating on his wife with the ultimate devastating effects it had on his marriage.

In one of the outstanding poetic moments, a graceful dance routine was performed by Drake and Stewart concurrently with the original Veloz and Yolanda as projected on stage in the multi-media design – truly a showstopper.

While the entire company danced to perfection, some of the featured dancers included Randy Herrera as Dutch Shultz, Cecily Stewart as Jean Veloz, and Gary McKenzie as Walter Winchell.

The only sad thing is that “An American Tango – The Story of Veloz and Yolanda” had only two performances so those of you who didn’t see his delicious program missed out on a very special dance experience.  

If this is performed again in Santa Barbara, it’s worth the drive.

For more information on the St Street Ballet, visit www.anamericantango.com.

in News
Related Posts

LA County Issues Ocean Water Use Warning for Several Beaches on the First Day of Summer

June 21, 2024

June 21, 2024

Elevated Bacterial Levels Prompt Health Advisory for Popular Coastal Spots Sadly, on the first day of Summer, the Los Angeles...

THIS WEEKEND: “Venice Summer Fest 2024” Will Celebrate Local Artists, Brands, and Designers

June 21, 2024

June 21, 2024

Over 400 Artists Will Exhibit and Sell Their Original Creations  The Venice Summer Fest 2024 will take place on Saturday,...

This Palisadian Will Be the Youngest Ever U.S. Olympian in Beach Volleyball

June 21, 2024

June 21, 2024

Miles Partain, 22, Is One of Several Olympians That Came Out of Pali High By Zach Armstrong Palisadian talent will represent...

(Video) Sport Fishing and Whale Watching on the Pacific Offered by MDR Sportfishing

June 20, 2024

June 20, 2024

Located Out of Marina del Rey, More Information Can Be Found at mdrsf.com @smmirrornews Operating out of Marina del Rey,...

Roman-Style Pizza Chain Opens on Main Street

June 20, 2024

June 20, 2024

The Chain’s Menu Boasts Fresh Ingredients for Its Variety of Tradition, Gluten-Free and Vegan Options By Zach Armstrong Today on...

Sci Fi Museum’s Lease Gets Terminated at Former Sears Building

June 20, 2024

June 20, 2024

The News Comes as a Slew of Controversies Surround the Museum and Its Founder By Zach Armstrong Amid tumultuous setbacks...

Pride-Colored Towers Vandalized During Pride Month for Two Straight Years in Palisades

June 20, 2024

June 20, 2024

L.A. County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath Stated That the Graffiti Will Be Removed By Zach Armstrong For two consecutive years, pride-colored lifeguard...

Film Review: Hit Man

June 19, 2024

June 19, 2024

FILM REVIEWHit ManRated R115 MinutesLimited run in theatres May 24th – June 7th, Released June 7th on Netflix Based on...

What to Expect at This Year’s “Pier 360 Beach Festival”

June 19, 2024

June 19, 2024

The Festival Will Honor Jeff Ho, Iconic Surfboard Shaper and Founder of the Zephyr Surf Team, and Kathy Kohner Zuckerman,...

Judge Blocks Barrington Plaza Evictions, Citing Legal Violations

June 19, 2024

June 19, 2024

Owner Douglas Emmett Inc. Sought to Evict Nearly 600 Tenants Last Year, Citing Safety Upgrades The eviction of hundreds of...

Yoga Gurus Sentenced for Defrauding Malibu Doctor

June 19, 2024

June 19, 2024

Dr. Sawusch Had a Successful Medical Practice in Pacific Palisades and Amassed Significant Wealth Through Investments A federal judge sentenced...

Thief Steals $4K of Jewelry from 3rd Street Promenade Store

June 18, 2024

June 18, 2024

The Owner Says a Similar “Smash-And-Grab” Incident Took Place Earlier This Year By Zach Armstrong A Ring camera placed inside...

Homeless Man Arrested in Santa Monica for Burglary and Arson

June 18, 2024

June 18, 2024

Suspect Faces Multiple Charges After Incidents Patrol officers responded to a commercial burglary call on Saturday, May 25, at approximately...

Baby Blues BBQ Reopens in Venice Nearly Two Years After Devastating Fire

June 18, 2024

June 18, 2024

The Eatery Has Been Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, and the Food Network By Zach Armstrong Almost two years after...

Tech Entrepreneur and Developer Company Buy Promenade Shops for $103M: Report

June 17, 2024

June 17, 2024

Acquisitions Include 1202, 1222, 1225, 1232, 1339, and 1344 Third Street Promenade Federal Realty Investment Trust has sold eight parcels...