During my first semester, I didn't go to any cultural event in IUP, so, I decided to make it up for it this semester. Thanks to one of my Facebook's friend and the Hispanic Heritage Council's page, I found the perfect event. ¡Azúcar!, the famous Cuban singer, Celia Cruz's battle cry is the perfect expression to describe the mood of the night I spent Saturday, October 16th during The Noche Latina in the almost full HUB's Ohio Room. To celebrate the end of Hispanic month Heritage, the IUP Hispanic Heritage Council thought this night to share with us their culture. Food, music, students and teachers' performances, everything was there to enjoy that Noche.
Hosting by the dynamic Jovana Ramos, student in IUP, this evening plunged us into the Hispanic's culture through its music, its dance and its poem. Dr. Marjorie Zambrano-Paff from the Spanish department introduced us the birth of new rhythm and the fusion of African instruments through clips and bits. Some IUP students in costumes came to illustrate different dances from Mexico. These dance representations were interrupted by Spanish poem declamations with a translation on a screen for people, like me, who doesn't speak Spanish.
Dr. Peter Broad reciting a Spanish poem. Picture by Courtney Ra
The intermission, the moment that everybody was secretly waiting for, was the moment to discover Hispanic culture through its food. I had to sacrifice myself to be a good reporter. Rice, Red beans, pineapple, pastries... My plates, like everybody's ones, was full of these delicious dishes.
The second half started with a vibrant homage to Salsa and its figurehead, Celia Cruz. We could watch a video and a dance tribute from the Ritmo Latino Dance Group.
We could also watch the Hispanic influence in Hollywood films with filmmakers and actors like Guillermo Del Toro, Javier Bardem or Pedro Almodovar. The Damage Dolls, a modeling troupe was on the Runways of Hispanic Flavor and Dr. Carmy Carranza from the Developmental Studies Department and her husband, Dr. Jose Carranza, retired from the Spanish Department introduced us a frenzied and sensual tango.
The night ended with a beautiful tribute to Hispanics in the US with the Gloria Estefan's song "Mi terra" singing with passion by Dr. Zambrano-Paff. All the performers were on the stage, dancing in unison. It was a great night to learn and at the same time enjoy, and also a good way to underline the Hispanic Heritage Month.
Damage Dolls group with Dr. Zambrano/ Perfomers with Jovana Ramos (in green) during the final. Picture by Courtney Ra
And you, if you were there, what did you think about this event?
I really enjoy this night, so if you are aware of other events on campus, leave me a comment.