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Latin Expressions to feature 17 acts

Irena Zajickova | Friday, March 27, 2009

Those in search of a fun, unique event to spice up their weekend should look no further than Latin Expressions.

Latin Expressions, which takes place tonight at 7 p.m. at the Century Center in South Bend, is a showcase of Latino culture that features 17 different acts and 116 total performers. It is sponsored by La Alianza, the only Latino student organization on campus.

The show combines traditional Latino acts – Coro Primavera, Ballet Folklorico, a mariachi band and an opening act put on by the Latin Expressions team – with Notre Dame performance groups who incorporate Latino culture into their own acts, including Project Fresh, the First Class Steppers, the M.O.B.B. brass band and Troop ND.

Co-director of Latin Expressions Cinthya Mabee said the show is special because it allows Latino students, a minority on campus, to give the audience a glimpse into their heritage.

“For those two hours, you are basically getting a snapshot of what drives us and our culture,” Mabee said.

The theme of Latin Expressions 2009 is “Ritmo Latino,” which Mabee described as “the rhythm we all have that keeps us united in being Latino.”

Two other integral parts of Latin Expressions are the emcees and the ushers, who are crucial in helping the audience to become a part of the show. This year’s emcees are Danny Alvarez and Maria Moreno, Mabee said.

She said the emcees guide the show’s structure and make sure the theme is evident in all aspects of the show. The ushers dress according to the theme and interact with the audience during intermission.

Karla Albite, co-director of Latin Expressions, said the audience always enjoys the ushers and emcees.

“People always look forward to the emcees because they’re always really great,” Albite said.

Albite said this year, the ushers will be given musical instruments and will dance and play them during intermissions.

This is the 19th year Latin Expressions will take place. The show has grown exponentially since its first performance in 1990, Albite said.

“The show has really expanded in its scope,” she said.

Albite said that in recent years, the students in charge of the show have sought to make Latin Expressions more oriented towards non-Latino audience members.

“Recently, we have taken it upon ourselves to not just make it a show for Latinos, but for everybody,” Albite said.

Both Albite and Mabee have been working with Latin Expressions since their arrival at Notre Dame. They first learned about the show when they were on campus for Spring Visitation, and both immediately decided to become a part of the production.

“The moment I saw it, I knew I had to be a part of it,” Albite said.

She said she is so dedicated to Latin Expressions that she co-directed last year’s show while studying abroad in Rome, Italy.

“It’s a beautiful show not just because there’s good acts and good decorations, but because it’s our opportunity to share who we are,” Albite added.