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Show takes modern approach to culture

Brigid Fenlon | Monday, April 2, 2007

Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students as well as prospective high school seniors on campus for Spring Visitation weekend experienced an exhibition of Latin culture Friday at La Alianza’s annual Latin Expressions event.

The show, a mix of songs, dances and poetry recitations, was held in Saint Mary’s O’Laughlin Auditorium. The theme for this year’s performance was MetropoLatino, a celebration of urban Latino life.

Sophomore Prisma Garcia said she enjoyed the performances that expanded on the theme of urban culture.

“One of the most interesting parts was when the emcee came out after the show and displayed a variety of flags from Hispanic regions around the world as a sign of unity,” Garcia said.

Senior Nancy Weaver, who has helped with the show for four consecutive years, said the production describes what it is like to be a Latino and so “enhances the sense of community for Latinos at Notre Dame.”

“One of the purposes is to see what the Latino community at Notre Dame is about and to show prospects that there are several different ways to express your culture,” Weaver said.

For high school seniors from underrepresented ethnic groups, the show gives them a glimpse into the cultural experiences of students at Notre Dame, Garcia said.

“This helps the prospective students to realize that despite the fact that they will be a minority on campus, they will not lose their culture upon their arrival,” she said.

But Latin Expressions is not just for minority students, Garcia said.

“Latin Expressions is a show that can be universally understood and appreciated. It is open to all cultures, and everyone can find enjoyment,” Garcia said.

The acts performed to a full audience who remained impressed and intrigued throughout, Weaver said.

This year’s show featured performances from a more diverse variety of cultures in Latin America, sophomore Abby Salazar said.

“This wider range added more variety and engaged more of the audience, as more people were able to identify with the unique traditions of their culture,” said Salazar, who performed a Mariachi dance.

The modern take on Latin culture was also a popular change, she said.

“Last year was a cultural look into Latino culture. This year was much more modern which drew a very diverse audience,” Salazar said.