Vasilis World Video did an AMAZING job capturing the performances at the 2014 Gran Gala.  If you were not able to attend you missed an uplifting and intimate evening of Latino dance music and food.  If you were there, then these videos will help you relive the evening.

Flower City Tango – Otra luna and Una emocion

All over the world people are drawn to the beauty of Argentine tango. Originating at the ending of the 19th century in the barrios of Buenos Aires, tango quickly grew in popularity and spread to Europe in the early 1900’s.  The Golden Age of Tango in the 1930’s and 40’s was marked by the composition of some of the greatest tangos and the development of the premier tango orchestras. It is now one of the most popular dances in the world and is the national dance of Finland.

Agustin and Shalom perform regularly in Rochester and throughout upstate New York including engagements with the Utica Tango Society and the Memorial Art Gallery’s Hispanic Heritage Celebration, as well as opening the 2014 season for Exodus to Jazz.  Most recently were the head liners at the historic STANDLEY THEATER in Utica NY.



Chile Lindo – Cueca

“Chile Lindo” is a dance group that was formed in Rochester in 2009 with the purpose of showing their Chilean culture through dance, and it has been performing since 2010.  Javier Concha, the group’s artistic director is originally from Concepción, Chile and is currently a student at RIT expecting to complete his Phd in Photogrammetry in the spring of 2015


Here they are dancing the “Cueca”, the official National Dance of Chile. It is a festive dance of courtship that has Spanish as well as native Indian influences; the dancers wave their handkerchiefs above their heads to signal their intentions.  The dancers are wearing the traditional Chilean wardrobe, for the lady, a long skirt, a short jacket, riding boots and hat, and for the man, called “huaso”, also a short jacket covered by a poncho, riding boots with spurs and a hat.



Latinos de Corazón – El Son de la Negra

Mexican folkloric dances each have a rich history behind the dances and the costumes worn depending on the region it originates from.

From the state of Jalisco comes El Son de la Negra, The Song of the Dark Woman. Originally from the South of Jalisco, it is commonly referred to as the “Second National Anthem of Mexico”.

The men wear Charro outfits, more familiarly known as mariachi outfits. The women wear colorful, double-circle skirts embellished with ribbons. The dancing from this region consist of flourishing arm movements, and loud, intricate stomping. At the end, the Charro would twirl his partner almost two revolutions, then cover both their heads with his wide-brim hat (sombrero), and finally sneak a small kiss from the young senorita.



Latinos de Corazón – Jarabe Tapatio

Also from the state of Jalisco comes The Jarabe Tapatio, widely known as the Mexican Hat dance, is a composition born during the revolution (1910) as a form of national unity.  The dance is called Jarabe because of the sweet courtship between the couple. It originally included singing and became widely spread all over Mexico up to around 1920 as a fashionable expression.

In the song, the Charro would toss down his hat on the ground, and the couple would dance around it, with the Charro chasing her while doing the steps of the dance — symbolizing the pursuit of man for woman. At the close of the dance, the lady would pick up the hat and lift it over her head — a symbol of accepting the affection of her suitor, from the old tribal dance of the Huichole indigenous tribe, where the dance originated. As in all jarabes mexicanos, the pursuit of man for woman ends in triumph for the couple. As this courtship dance finsihes with the symbol of marriage, the man kneels in front of his lady and the senorita holds his hat above her head — the union of man and woman.



Latinos de Corazón – Que Viva Panama

“viva” can mean live, long life, or hooray…hooray for Panama ” VIVA PANAMA”. “Que viva-viva, viva ya, que viva-viva Panamá.”


The Dance performed by most folkloric groups of Panama.  The words of the songs are very simple, but it is the energy transmitted to the public that counts the most, with the sounds of instruments and the quick steps and turns.  It is an energetic and patriotic dance performed during most major events in Panama like, Carnival, and Independence day.



Latinos de Corazón – El Punto

It is considered to be the most elegant and beautiful dance of the whole Isthmus. Its origins are completely Hispanic and it is danced by a couple formed by a man and a woman. As a contrast with the other traditional styles, it is not played for a whole party but as a break from the other dances, during which the dancers can show off their skills and encourage everyone to enjoy the moment. El Punto, unlike the tamborito or cumbia has a more detailed choreography and it is less likely to be improvised.



Latinos de Corazón – Ticas Lindas

The Costa Rican folk dances are part of the art, language, culture and traditions of this country, the “bailes” are part of the multifarious and vital picture of a distinctly Costa Rican cultural manifestation and identity, the costumes and the influence of indigenous and Spaniards traditions are  reflected and kept throughout the music and clothing,  and passed on over generations.

The “Ticas Lindas” song is tribute to all Costa Rican women, it describes the beauty of the Costa Rican women, their unique features and their contribution and influence on making Costa Rica a better country. The author Mario Chacon Segura describes in his lyrics Costa Rica as a paradise with its 7 provinces and he declares that Costa Rica is a precious stone which cannot be compared to anything nor envy anything else.



Latinos de Corazón – Zumba que Zumba Marimba de mi Corazón

The authors tell the story of their childhood love while growing up in an Indian village in Costa Rica. They grew up together and after some time they reunite. They start reminiscing about how much the Indian loved the girl and called her “Pasión” for her passionate nature in all she did and her sweetness. While he remembers these events his heart beats and says “Zumba que zumba marimba de mi corazón aunque se rompan las teclas, que son de fino coyo!” This means his heart is beating for her love.



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