OLAA Dazzles With Latino Culture Show In Robsham
Published: Monday, February 25, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 25, 2013 10:02
Ayer y Manana: Somos el Futuro, or, “Yesterday and Tomorrow: We are the Future” was the theme of this year’s OLAA Culture Show held in Robsham Theatre on Friday night. Video interviews with five Hispanic students, asking about their cultural backgrounds, role models, and where they see themselves in 10 years, integrated with various performances, emulated this theme nicely. Snippets of these interviews were shown before each act. These students displayed the variety of majors, campus involvement, and goals for their futures that the Hispanic population on campus has to offer.
The first half of the show provided the audience with everything from spoken word to theater. Alicia Martinez, A&S ’13, performed two original spoken word pieces focusing on Latino struggles drawn from personal experiences. Her second piece, “Blades of Grass,” put herself in the place of a mother speaking to her daughter, which was incredibly moving. Following Martinez was sophomore Frankie Bernard, who energized the crowd with his performance of Marc Anthony’s “Ahora Quien” and “Las Cosas Pequenas” by Prince Royce. The recently resurrected AHANA Collective Theatre, also known as A.C.T., performed a portion of the play “La Pinta” by Josefina Lopez. The final performance of the first act was the up and coming Latin dance team Vida de Intensa Pasion, or V.I.P. for short, who rocked the house to the much loved Merengue classic “La Duena del Swing.”
The second act was equally as energetic as the first. Things got personal when Vanessa Menchaca, A&S ’13, took the stage to perform her stand up act. Among other things, Menchaca talked about her trials and tribulations as a Resident Assistant in Walsh. Her routine played with the racism she has encountered, allowing the audience to laugh at the ridiculous things that people say. For example, when talking about moving to China, Menchaca says that Hispanic people will usually tell her “I’m praying for you tonight.” She was extremely lively and zestful and fed off the audience really well, while maintaining an appropriate level of respect, something hard to come by. Coming off their 2012 ALC Showdown victory, UPrising, the urban hip-hop-focused dance team, performed a dynamic and exciting routine. These guys never fail to pump up whatever audience they are performing for.
Following UPrising was perhaps the most electrifying and stimulating act of the entire show. The Poetry Collective, which featured three students who performed original pieces of spoken word, captured the audience with their stories of personal struggle and a huge dose of emotion. The three performers, Luis Miguel Torres, A&S ’16, Jovani Hernandez, A&S ’16, and Danny Deleon, A&S ’15, are also currently trying to form a slam poetry team on campus. Their pieces inspired, moved, and brought some audience members nearly to tears as they challenged, though different life experiences, what the so-called “American Dream” echoes—a testament to how talented these young men truly are. The passion they exemplified through their poetry was absolutely astounding, and the audience responded with equal passion. The grand finale of the show was the well-known and much loved dance team Fuego del Coraon. Fuego is celebrating its 10th year on BC’s campus, and this group of Latin dancers just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Their performance, which involved a variety of Latin dance styles, from bachata to salsa, dazzled the stage. Fuego ended their performance with their go-to jam “Danza Kuduro,” which always gets the crowd going.
One of the questions during the mini-interview segments was “Who inspires you?” and among the social justice leaders, mother, grandmothers, and other prominent figures, one student, Christian Lopez, CSOM ’14, stated his inspiration as “the immigrant” who works hard everyday for their children to have the opportunity to follow their dreams and attend college just like his father has done for him. The struggles of the immigrants who come to this country are what inspire and motivate Lopez to succeed so he can one day help others succeed as well. This seems to be the message behind the theme of the culture show Ayer y Manana: Somos el Futuro. The show was both a reflection on the past of Hispanic culture and what today’s Latino generation can hope for the future. The show was run exceptionally smoothly and, by the audience’s response, was a great success. From the looks of this performance, OLAA’s annual show will only grow to be bigger and better in years to come.