“Dancing Stars of St. Johns County,” 2018 Was Just Amazing

The St. Augustine Community School of Performing Arts presented “Dancing Stars of St. Johns County,” a lively competition along the lines of  the popular TV show, “Dancing with the Stars,” and featuring entrants from St. Johns County. The event took place on the stage of the Lewis Auditorium on Saturday, July 7, 2018, at 7:00 p.m.

Local celebrities teamed up with professional dance instructors and competed in front of a panel of judges for two awards: People’s Choice and Judge’s Choice.

Participants in this year’s Dancing Stars of St Johns County included Julie Basham, Jonathan Birbal, Kalee Howell, Brian Kurz, Madeline Rivera, Natalie Swift, Noelani Taylor, and Tina Verduzco.

The fundraiser was to  benefit the community programs of the St. Augustine Community School of Performing Arts, whose mission is to give the community the gift of music through private vocal and instrumental lessons, ensembles, summer outreach camps, private scholarships, and more. Sponsors of the event included Arthur Murray Dance Centers and Murray Automotive Group.

St Augustine Ballet presents “Alice in Wonderland”

The St. Augustine Ballet presented the final year’s run of Alice in Wonderland on May 12-13, 2018. The Saturday performance began at 7 p.m. at Flagler College’s Lewis Auditorium. Starting time for the Sunday performance was 2 p.m. According to the Ballet’s assistant director, Emily Masson, this year’s cast was nearly a third larger than last year’s cast. She said an increased number of younger kids auditioned this year, possibly after having their interest piqued after attending last year’s performances.

Eléa Woodward was cast as Alice. Woodward was supported by a superb ensemble of both new and familiar faces.

Annual Bellydance Festival 2018

The Sweetheart Gala is an annual Bellydance Festival. The event featured top notch instructors and Master Teachers.
The 2018 Sweetheart Instructors were:
Ahmed Hussien
Tarifa Salem
Ranya Renee
Jennifer of Orlando
Lacey Sanchez
Alicia Bellycraft
Gina Marie
The festival was held at Holiday Isle Oceanfront Resort. The 2018 Gala featured a lovely Friday night welcome Hafla with casual performances, amazing vendors, a Saturday evening showcase, raffles and more! The festival suffered severe set backs in 2017 due to damages sustained by Hurricane Matthew, but they are back on track and better than ever!

Flash Mob Hits St Augustine 3 Times

A group of locals gathered on Saturday, January 6th (Three Kings Day) at 7 p.m. at the St. Augustine Visitors Information Center (next to the downtown parking garage) to FLASH MOB. They then went to the Lightner Museum, and then to La Plaza de la Constitucion. Three Flash Mobs in about an hour!

St Augustine Ballet Performs “The Nutcracker”

The St. Augustine Ballet performs The Nutcracker every holiday season at Flagler College’s Lewis Auditorium. This year, there were four performances over two days, Saturday and Sunday, December 16 and 17, 2017.

Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker is a traditional thing to do during the holidays, and one of the most loved Christmas stories, based on E.T. A. Hoffman’s The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. The St. Augustine Ballet production was directed by Artistic Director Luis Abella.

2017 Dancing Stars of St Johns County was Awesome

Another great performance for a wonderful cause. On July 8th SACSPA (St Augustine Community School of Performing Arts) presented its 2017 Dancing Stars of St Johns County. The community came out in great numbers to support this non-profit organization which provides many programs to persons of all ages.
It was a blast of good music, dance and fun.

St Augustine Ballet’s “Alice in Wonderland” Captivates the Imagination

On May 13th and 14th, Saint Augustine Ballet’s newest original production, Alice in Wonderland, came to the Lewis Auditorium. Artistic Director Luis Abella explained, “Children have always related to Alice – her curiosity and her bravery in the face of a bewildering new world. For this show, we have brought together an exciting mix of contemporary dance styles and eclectic music that will appeal to adults just as much as children.”

Artistic Director Luis Abella

Choreography by Emily Masson. A musical score sourced from all over the globe – from classical and romantic, to American jazz, steam punk, North African percussion, and exotic middle-eastern strains, the music had something for everyone.

Tap dance and choreographer, Jenne Vermes

Costumes by Parisian-native, Virginie Lorang-Woodward.

Head of scenic and lighting design, Robert O’Leary

Ensemble Español Visits St Augustine

St. Augustine’s EMMA Concerts presented the Ensemble Español in a performance at Lewis Auditorium on Saturday, February 4, 2017.The Ensemble Español performed in St. Augustine during the Celebrate 450! festivities in September of 2015, and they returned for an encore performance as part of the EMMA Evening Concert Series.
The premier Spanish dance company in the U.S., the Ensemble is committed to presenting and promoting cultural pluralism at community, state, national, and international levels. Made up of 40 singers, dancers, and guest artists, the Ensemble celebrates “the rich traditions of the dance, music. literature and culture of Spain in the classical, folkloric and flamenco styles.”

“The Nutcracker” Amazes Again

The St. Augustine Ballet perform The Nutcracker every holiday season at Flagler College’s Lewis Auditorium. This year, there were four performances over two days: at 1:30 and 7:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, December 17 and 18, 2016.

Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker is a traditional thing to do during the holidays, and one of the most loved Christmas stories, based on E.T. A. Hoffman’s The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. The St. Augustine Ballet production is directed by Artistic Director Luis Abella and featured several guest artists.

This year’s production of the classic holiday season ballet featured two renowned dancers discovered by Edward Villella. Jennifer Carlynn Kronenberg  performed as the Sugar Plum Fairy opposite her husband Carlos Miguel Guerra as the Cavalier. Both dancers worked with Edward Villella at the Miami City Ballet for many years.

Zombie Party at the Lightner Museum

Many dragged themselves to the Lightner Museum in their best zombie attire!  “Get your zombie on” was from 5pm-7pm when the Lightner Museum hosted a special dance performance by Abella’s School of Dance: Thriller at Lightner.  Abella’s donated their talents for the evening by performing to Michael Jackson’s Thriller, then teaching the zombie guests how to bust a move.

This was a free family-friendly event.  Donations were being requested at the door with 100% of proceeds going to the hurricane recovery effort in St. Johns County.

Guest entered through the Cafe’ Alcazar Entrance on Granada Street!