The usually stoic atmosphere at Sanders Theatre was lifted by the acclaimed South American band Inca Son Friday night, on hand to perform a benefit concert to help restore a Peruvian church.
The 400-year old church of Santa Ana in Ayacucho, Peru suffered an estimated $300,000 in damage in a 1997 fire. It has long been the cultural lynchpin of the community, which was torn by a 12-year civil war between the Peruvian government and the Shining Path rebel forces.
The Santa Anna Project, a student-run organization founded three years ago by Gordon C. McCord '02, hopes to help renovate the place of worship.
While most of the approximately 500 people in attendance came to see Inca Son perform, many echoed the feelings of area resident Susan Polk.
"I'm here for the music, but the charity is a nice benefit," said Polk.
Helped by recent success, including an appearance on the Boston Pops' most recent album and a 1999 Boston Music Award, Inca Son event formed the Santa Ana Committee's largest fundraiser to date.
The five-member band took the stage in their usually vibrant traditional dress. An array of dancers, a sword-swallower and fire breathers dazzled the crowd, which clapped enthusiastically to the music.
"I thought their energy was amazing," said Peter L. Hawthorne '04.
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