The Collegian
Thursday, August 06, 2020

Concert features Latin American music and dance

Ritmo Latino's spring concert program featured music and dance from countries and cultures throughout Latin America.

Introducing culture through dance and music made the show diverse and exciting, said freshman Richuan Hu, as he made his way through the crowded Tyler Haynes Commons after watching the performance.

"It's the first time I've seen belly dance, and I really enjoyed it," Hu said. "By far my favorite costume and dance of the night."

A popular Latin song, remixed by a modern artist, opened the show and had the crowd cheering and whistling when the group was introduced. The dances that followed included belly dance, bachata, cumbia and a special guest performance by the Bollywood Jhatkas, another dance club on campus, that focuses on presenting South Asian and Indian dance.

"Even though not all the dances performed originated in Latin America, we wanted to show the diversity and boundaries that dance and music can cross," said Beverly Duran, co-founder and president of Ritmo Latino.

Between dances and outfit-changes, the DJ, junior Edderic Ugaddan and the MCs, sophomores Erica Trujillo and Christy Buranaamorn, kept the audience entertained with jokes and friendly conversation.

"It was a great experience and turn out, and I'm so glad to be a part of it," Buranaamorn said.

The dancers changed their costumes frequently, modeling styles from glittering two-piece belly dance costumes to the flowing white skirts of the cumbia dancers.

"Although I think some of the dances were too short, it was a great celebration of dance and diversity with all the countries and cultures they were able to represent," sophomore Francis Poitier said.

Every member of the club performed in at least two dances, Duran said. At the end of the performance, the club members invited the audience on stage to dance to the final song of the night.

The applause and cheers from the audience were an indication of the show's success.

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"I think it went really well," co-founder Rubi Escalona said, "especially when the audience joined in on stage toward the end."

Duran and Escalona said they definitely hoped to do an even bigger show next year, with longer dances and possibly professional choreography.

Contact reporter Nabila Khouri at nabila.khouri@richmond.edu

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