Through a shared passion for the Spanish and Latin American culture, local musicians, dancers, MUN faculty and star students from the School of Music presented Invocacion y Danza, a concert event featuring Spanish and Latin American live music and dance, at the Masonic Temple on March 13, 2016. This collaborative project fostered creative exchange between local professional artists and Memorial University faculty and students. Outcomes from the project included the creation of new guitar repertoire as well as three dance choreographies that were premiered in the concert event. In addition, the project contributed to the support and promotion of the increasingly diverse cultural milieu in the wider St. John's community.
The music students involved in the project benefited from a unique performing opportunity. Their participation enabled them to expand their repertoire and appreciation of classical and folk genres by assimilating new classical chamber music pieces as well as traditional Latin American dance forms. Interactions with dancers in rehearsals were particularly invaluable as the students were compelled to consider the dancers' perspective on music and its relation to choreography. As a result of working with dancers, the students developed new skills such as rhythmic precision and visual cuing. Furthermore, the collaborative aspect of the project provided the students with a rare experience to work and perform with professional musicians and dancers in a "real world" setting as well as the opportunity to earn course credits in partial fulfillment of their music program requirements.
In an effort to increase the visibility of the Music at Memorial Concert Series, the concert was held off-campus. The multidisciplinary nature of the project as well as the multi-genre repertoire featured in the program were contributing factors in attracting a new audience and making this sold out concert event a success. As a direct result of the new collaborations established from the Invocacion y Danza project, discussions are currently underway for future performing opportunities that include a live music and dance presentation at The Rooms in July 2016, a live music and dance performance in collaboration with Dance NL as part of the St. John's Folk Festival in August 2016 as well as collaborations with Salsa in St. John's to provide live music as part of the community group's on going dance events.