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Sabrosura: Feast your Eyes on This!

Scene Writer | Friday, March 26, 2004

Although La Alianza, the Latino group of Notre Dame, can’t control the weather, it can heat up your weekend with Sabrosura: Latin Expressions. Latin Expressions has been ‘spicing’ up Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s since its ‘colder’ premiere in 1990. However this year, as the title suggests, will be exceptionally tasty, or a ‘Sabrosura.’ In its 15th year, Latin Expressions will bring together talents, ideas and creativity of over 100 students. This year is special because Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students will perform all of the acts. In previous years, outside performers had filled open spaces. This year’s executive director is April Garcia. “We have about a dozen acts that showcase freshman through seniors, Latino and non-Latino students, and a wide range of artistic expression,” April Garcia, executive director of the program. The show’s performances will include poetry, dancing, singing, artwork, bands and even a political act.As Latin Expressions has gained acclaim and support through the University, the audition standards have also risen. This year the executive board found themselves turning students away. “There were a lot of quality acts, but we just couldn’t fit them all because of time,” Garcia said. As a result, a very unique, and diverse group of students was selected to represent the artistic and Latino diversity on campus.Guests will enjoy Latin expressions from ‘Station One,’ Troop ND, the Irish Dance team and various other groups. Some of the shows’ highlights include Ballet Folklorico, Sazón, a spoken word piece and a Flamenco act.Ballet Folklorico will perform two pieces. The first comes from the state of Jalisco, and is all female. In the second piece, six couples will perform a traditional wedding dance from the state of Vera Cruz. This dance is a symbolic representation of unity. Dancers will gracefully tie a ribbon with their feet, imitating the bond tied through marriage. Another dance act, although quite different, is Sazón. Sazón is composed of four females who will perform a medley of Latino dance styles. This act is the first of its kind in the show’s history, and is sure to please guests.Melody Gonzalez’s act, a spoken word piece, may bring back the tone of the show from its first run in 1990. Her piece is a poetic commentary on the tomato wages of Taco Bell. Although not the typical act in Latin Expressions, it will still offer an important perspective of Latino culture and issues. Gonzalez’s piece will reveal some economic and political issues of Latino culture, helping to emphasize the show’s overall presentation of Latino culture.There is one act returning after a few years absence. Gabby Obregon will perform a traditional Flamenco dance. Although Latin Expressions has offered Flamenco dance before, this will be the first time in many years. “Until now we just haven’t had anyone with the experience,” Garcia said.Obregon has been practicing Flamenco dance for many years and will display her talents in a solo act. Introducing all of these acts will be returning emcee favorites Alex Santana, Jesus Bravo and Nicole Orozco. All three are very familiar with the acts and layout of the show. Their comedic and comfortable approach will help audience members join in the celebratory atmosphere of Latino culture. Latin Expressions hasn’t always been as festive an event as it is today. In its first year, Latino groups on campus organized the show. Funds from the show were put towards a scholarship for a Latino student to attend Notre Dame. Acts were performed in the Hesburgh Auditorium, and had a ‘political’ quality. “Most of the acts were poetry and skits, yet with an angry undertone,” Garcia said. “Instead of a celebratory mood, a more harsh and political tone presided.” The event sought more to profess political and social concerns of Latino culture rather than share its rich diversity.In years following the 1990 debut, many changes were made to the event. After a few years at Hesburgh, the show moved to Stepan center. This was done to support the growing demand for audience and performance space. While at Stepan, many of the shows were composed of “outside” acts. Latino performers and musicians from surrounding areas would come in to showcase their talents. Although some students participated in the acts, a majority was comprised of alternative sources.In its 15th year, Latin Expressions finds itself at St. Mary’s O’Laughlin Auditorium. The new location allows for bigger audiences and a more formal atmosphere. Garcia hopes the show will expand viewer’s ideas of Latino culture. “A lot of people only have one view of Latino culture they’re comfortable with,” Garcia said. “It’s important to expand upon this view and get a better understanding of the culture’s diversity.” Tickets for Friday’s 7 p.m. performance will be sold for five dollars at the O’Laughlin Auditorium.