"Mr. Barreto helps to dispel many of the misconceptions that surround Santeria" --- NY TIMES


Emilio Barreto began his apprenticeship with Mr. Anthony "Olukushe" Wiles who headed the International African American Ballet. As an accomplished vocalist and initiated priest he has officiated at hundreds of ceremonies for many respected elders of Santeria. His Santisimo dance troupe has received performance commissions from such prestigious venues as Lincoln Center, The American Museum of Natural History, The World Music Institute and was  invited to perform at the United Nations millennium peace summit. He participated in the Broadway musical "The Capeman" and in a film project called "African Voices" produced by the Smithsonian Institution. Mr. Barreto is founder and President of the Luz productions Company which in addition to musical productions also assist  curriculums that educate people about African Diaspora. 


The Santisimo Lecture

The art of Santeria religious practice in music and dance lecture is
intended to serve as an introduction to the religious practices and musical traditions of Santeria as derived from Africa and practiced in Cuba. Emilio Barreto explains "What is Santeria"?, "How did this religion of the Yoruba people become fused with that of the catholic saints"?, and "How does Santeria make use of it's musical traditions to create a powerful link with the devine?.

Everyone present will witness firsthand the answers to these questions and through demonstration learn how singers, drummers and dancers transform the ceremonial atmosphere in religious feast called abakini. The importance of chanting, improvisation, and knowledge used in the invocation of the spirit deities known as Orisha's will be illustrated. An explaination of how the methods of worship found in music and dance come together in the completion of ritual acts that heal and renew worshipers. 


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