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. 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 RYT 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. In the field of Spanish dance, she 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 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. She 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 N.Y.C. , 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 L.I.’s Staller & Tilles Centers for the Arts as guest artist with the L.I. Symphony, University of Georgia’s Arts & Humanities Center, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival , & PBS Channel 21 to name only a few.
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 Bookhaven Dance Guild, Bridgeport University’s Regional Center for the Arts and UGA’ s Department of Dance.
An avid arts-in-education exponent, Maria has worked for such well known arts-in-education programs as The National Theater, Young Audiences, and Arts Connection. With Sol y Sombra, she gives programs for the BOCES Arts in Humanities Services in numerous Upstate, Westchester, Suffolk & Nassau Counties. For over five years, Maria has been a Lincoln Center Institute trained teaching artist for the Tilles Center and has recently partnered with SNAP to place after school programs in dance for at risk youth in schools throughout Suffolk County.
Maria has been the subject of full page articles in both the N.Y. Times and Newsday and was interviewed by National Public Radio. She has been an auditor for the N.Y. State Council on the Arts and member of numerous DEC grant panels. She was 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 Advisory Board on the Arts for the Suffolk County Legislature.
In 1984 Maria Loreta founded the Sol y Sombra Spanish Dance Co.,. Since then, under her direction, the company has been the 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..