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Spend an afternoon like you're in Cuba | Arts & Culture

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Spend an afternoon like you're in Cuba
Spend an afternoon like you're in Cuba

St. Petersburg, Florida -- Three internationally-renowned professional ballroom dance sensations, Mary Murphy, Tony Dovolani, and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, backed by one of Cuba's most popular bands, take over St. Petersburg's historic Coliseum Sunday, June 23, for a celebration of Cuban culture and Latin dancing to benefit St. Petersburg's arts community.

"An Afternoon in Havana," will be held from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N.   Murphy, of So You Think You Can Dance fame, along with Dancing with the Stars' Tony and Maks will introduce and perform with some of the world's best Latin, Salsa, and Mambo dancers and the newly-crowned 2013 Latin dance champions.

Music will be provided by Cuba's legendary Orquesta Aragn, featuring vocalist Julio Fernandez Colina and world-renowned percussionist Amadito Valdes. Fernandez Colina and Valdes, part of a group of musicians known in Cuba as the Buena Vista Social Club, performed on the 1998 Grammy-winning recording of the same name, which is considered the best-selling world music album of all time. They were also part of a documentary which captured the band's performances in Cuba and New York, earning a 2000 Academy Award nomination for German filmmaker Wim Wenders. Showgirls flown in from Havana's Cabaret Tropicana will also entertain.

Guests are invited to practice dance steps during the concert, sample authentic Cuban food and drink or enjoy a cigar in the outdoor Cigar Lounge. A portion of the proceeds benefits the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance, a non-profit dedicated to increasing funding and advocating for artists, arts and cultural organizations, and creative businesses in St. Petersburg.

"St. Petersburg is honored to welcome the Orquesta Aragn and some of ballroom's biggest stars for this event," said St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster. "World culture has played a significant role in our city's development, from its architecture, museums, theatrical influences, and the Florida Orchestra's cultural exchange with Cuba, to our eclectic collection of independent galleries. This visit is just one more reason to celebrate St. Petersburg's development into a premier Southeast arts destination."

Individual tickets are $70, $95, and $145; VIP tickets are $295, $995, and $1495 and include a dance class taught by Murphy, Chmerkovskiy and Dovolani, special seating and a reception with the stars and members of Orquesta Aragn. Tickets are available through www.afternooninhavana.com/tickets.  

Event sponsors include Florida Blue, AT&T, Advantica, Visibility Management, Fred Astaire Studios, Pasadena Yacht and Country Club, the Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club, Tampa Bay Magazine, and Davidoff Cigars. Sponsorships are available and include a VIP reception and meet-and-greet with musicians and dance professionals.

Visit www.AfternoonInHavana.com or call (727)538-7750 for information.


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