“Tucson’s Heart and Soul, El Casino Ballroom” documentary update, 06/0712

El Casino construction

Tearing down the damaged section of El Casino Ballroom in 2011. Photo contributed by Anthony Peralta.

Leads on photos, stories of El Casino Ballroom’s origins, and “Tucson’s Heart and Soul, El Casino Ballroom” Kickstarter project highlight a full day in the life of a project.

Most exciting was making contact with Yvonne Siqueiros, daughter of El Casino Ballroom co-founder Ramon Siqueiros, who built the legendary hardwood floor that has supported so many dancers over the hall’s 65 years.

I will be interviewing Yvonne and her nephew, Martin Dupont, shortly for the film.

Photographer David Horowitz captured the live and back-stage action of El Casino Ballroom in the 1980s during the fabled KXCI House Rockin’ Concert series. He has agreed to go through his files and contribute some of his favorite shots – and stories – to the film.

Also from that era, an interview is being set up with Paul Bear – co-founder of the House Rockin’ series (with Jeb Schoonover), and the man who saw El Casino Ballroom’s potential as the place for unforgettable dance concerts.

El Casino Ballroom manager Fred Martinez sent out an email requesting photos to ECB regulars, and already a great batch from Anthony Peralta has come in, showing reconstruction after the roof b;ew ha;f off, and showing some of the talent that played there.

Gus Ramirez has been busy decorating for a wedding at El Casino Ballroom Friday, and is planning the look for the June 15 Tucson Pima Arts Council Lumie Awards event, featuring Sergio Mendoza y la Orkesta.

And as mentioned, the “Tucson’s Heart and Soul, El Casino Ballroom” Kickstarter project has finally been launched and donations are starting to flow in.

Look for photos from upcoming interviews in the days ahead.

– Daniel Buckley

~ by Daniel Buckley on June 8, 2012.

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