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Maria  Loreta  Celitan

Besides Spanish dance of which she is an accomplished professional, Maria Loreta holds degrees in Art & Art History, a M.A. in Comparative Religions and an advanced Certificate in Gerontology.

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In dance and dance related fields, Maria has studied extensively Classical Ballet, Modern Dance, Near Eastern Dance and Bharatanatyam (Classical Indian Dance). She is a Registered Yoga Teacher 500 hours and holds certification in: advanced Hatha Yoga and Cardiac Yoga from the Integral Yoga Institutes; Creative Movement for Children from Jack Weiner’s School of Creative Movement and Dance Therapy from the Turtle Bay Music School in Manhattan.

Maria has studied in Spain with such outstanding professionals as Paco Romero, Paco Fernandez, Tomas de Madrid, La Tati, Azorin, Jose Antonio, Carmen Cortes, Merce Esmeralda & Carmela Greco.

In 1984 Maria Loreta founded the Sol y Sombra Spanish Dance Co., to promote the exciting art of Hispanic music & dance. Under the artistic direction of Maria Loreta, the company presents programs of Flamenco, Spanish Classical & Folk, Mexican, Argentine Tango and Latin Dance as well as traditional dances from throughout the Hispanic world for concert series, arts-in-education programs, colleges, cultural and entertainment centers.  Sol y Sombra’s members are recognized as outstanding professionals in the field of Hispanic music & dance, and have performed extensively both nationally and internationally.

solysombra 3In recognition of its quality, value, and achievements, Sol y Sombra has been a recipient of numerous grants from the NY State Council on the Arts, Suffolk & Nassau Counties’ Offices of Cultural affairs, Suffolk County Community Initiative grants, JP Morgan Chase and a most recently, a NY State Legislature Initiative Grant.

Currently, Maria is on the faculty of SUNY at Stony Brook University Center for Dance, Movement & Somatic Learning.

When not performing, Maria Loreta has taught Spanish Dance for numerous schools and institutions throughout the New York Metropolitan area including the Connecticut Ballet & the Ballet of Puerto Rico, as well as master classes for Suffolk Community College’s Master Artists Program, the Brookhaven Dance Guild, Bridgeport University’s Regional Center for the Arts, Dowling College and UGA’ s Department of Dance and has worked for such well-known arts-in-education programs as The National Theater, Young Audiences, and Arts Connection.

maira blue dressShe has made appearances in such well known venues as the U.N., Lincoln Centers Out-of-Doors, Town Hall, the Applecore & Tri-plex theaters in New York City, Washington D.C.’s Armory Arts Center, the Kravis Performing Arts Center & Four Arts Theater in Palm Beach, Florida, NYC’s Channel 11 WBLX and both Long Island’s Staller & Tilles Centers for the Arts as guest artist with the Long Island Symphony, University of Georgia’s Arts & Humanities Center, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, & WLIW21, to name only a few.

In addition to numerous guest artist appearances and solo concerts at colleges and art centers throughout the U.S., she has danced as a company member with Estrella Morena’s Ballet de Madrid, The American Spanish Dance Theatre and Jose Molina’s Bailes Espanoles with which she toured for many years throughout the U.S. and abroad.

DancersMaria has been an auditor for the N.Y. State Council on the Arts and member of numerous DEC grant panels. She served on the Board of Directors for Newsday’s L.I Arts Committee and the Performing Arts Committee of the Ward Melville Heritage Society and the executive board of Long Island’s Dance Consortium.   She recently was awarded a Distinguished Lectureship at the University of Georgia’s Arts & Humanities Center and has been appointed to The Citizen’s Advisory Board on the Arts for the Suffolk County Legislature.