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Scholars Day 2007, Wednesday, April 11

The Swirl of the Sacred and Secular in Cuba’s Club “Cabaret Las Vegas”

Each Saturday evening from 5-8 pm in Havana, Cuba, seventeen talented singers, percussionists and dancers from the Grammy Award winning music and dance company Yoruba Andabo perform to a packed club filled with Cuban locals. The audience sits at tables surrounding the band and dance floor as the performers transform the space, alternating between sets of the social dance and music form of rumba, and the sacred dance and music of the Orishas, the deities of the Santeria religion. What happens in a world where sensuality, prayer and the club environment are one? What codes of conduct exist or disappear when audience members are allowed to cross the line from observation to participation, when gods are brought to life and partying spectators ask for their blessings? Where does the secular end and the sacred begin in this swirled environment where boundaries are blurred for both the performers and the audience?

Presenter: Molly Christie (Graduate Student)
Topic: Dance
Location: Hartwell Strasser Dance Studio
Time: 9:30 am (Session I)