June 18 benefit features Castello, Saint-Cyr

Maria Castello and Jacques Saint-Cyr will give a performance at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 18, to benefit the Without Shoes Modern Dance Company. Location is The Barn on Rotary Road, New Milford. Take 251 south and turn left on Rotary Road. It is the first barn on your right. Look for “Tango” signs.

The performance will take the audience through the history of Argentine tango. Following the performance, there will be a fun-filled evening of social dance featuring introductory tango class and other favorites. Light hors d’oeuvres will be served, and a cash bar will be available at Kiki B’s.

Cost of the event is $20 per person or $30 per couple in advance; or $25 per person, $35 per couple at the door. Reservations may be mailed to: Without Shoes Modern Dance Company, 954 N. Main St. #25, Rockford, IL 61103.

The Without Shoes Modern Dance Company is a dance ensemble affiliated with Rockford College that has been serving the community since 1987. Last year’s production of The Polar Express presented four performances (one narrated in Spanish) attended by 17 schools and one performance open to the public. Thirty children from various schools took part in the production and experienced dance on stage. The Young Choreographers’ Project II gave 40 high school students from the area the opportunity to create their own pieces with the guidance of professional choreographers.

The project finished with a final presentation of the works at Maddox Theatre. Without Shoes continues to play a main role in the organization of Arts for Life, a performance dedicated to raise funds for AIDS care and prevention organizations. Without Shoes received the support of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, the Rockford Area Arts Council and the Illinois Arts Council.

Maria Castello and Jacques Saint-Cyr have been collaborating since 1994. Together, they have taught and presented performances throughout the United States and Canada. Castello and Saint-Cyr studied with tango masters such as Pepito Avellaneda, Esther and Mingo Pugliese, and Rodolfo Dinzel.

Maria Castello graduated from the National School of Dance and the School of Medicine in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has more than 25 years experience as a teacher, dancer and choreographer. She has performed in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, and throughout the U.S. She is the artistic director of the Without Shoes Modern Dance Company and teaches at Dance Congress.

Jacques Saint-Cyr obtained a B.A. in music education from the University of Quebec and an M.A. in flute performance from the University of Montreal, Canada. He is a renowned tango teacher and dancer in the Montreal Tango milieu. In Rockford, he teaches music at the Rockford College Music Academy and Rock Valley College. He is a performing member of the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center. Castello and Saint-Cyr teach Argentine tango, salsa and ballroom at Rockford College.

From the June 15-21, 2005, issue

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