“And the Winner is…”
Samba, zapateado, lambada, mambo, flamenco, bachata/merengue, cumbia, belly dance, tango and hip-hop. Those were the dances performed at this year’s Carnaval, the Association of Latin American Students’ annual cultural celebration, which took place on Friday and Saturday nights.
“It’s amazing,” sophomore Kevin Chu said. “I’m a sucker for Latin dances.”
Junior Patricia Morency, one of Carnaval’s co-chairs, was very pleased with the show.
“I thought the show went really well. I think the skit was unbelievable this year. The dances were great. The audience was really responsive. Overall, I’m really, really happy with what happened.”
This year’s celebration was themed “And the winner is…” Interspersed between the dances, students performed a skit that centered on the theme of the night. Sophomore Andong Cheng, a co-director and a scriptwriter for this year’s skit, believed that this format added to the entertainment value of the show.
“Because the skit connected to the dances, there was more cohesion and better flow of the program,” Cheng said. “I felt like the choreographers were all really dedicated and wanted perfection from their performers.”
This year’s skit took place in Brazil, where the mayor of a city decided to transfer money meant for renovating favelas (shantytowns) into his personal accounts.
The mayor was also one of the judges of the Miss Universe competition, which got moved to Brazil. Instead of focusing on the cancelation of the favela renovation, everyone shifted their attention to the Miss Universe pageant. Miss Brazil uncovered what happened to the favela funds and informed everyone by the end of the evening.
Morency said that although the skit last year and this year were both funny, this year’s skit was more satirical.
“It was a little more of a critique compared to last year, which was a soap opera,” Morency said.
With more than 200 participants, a sold-out theater and loud music throughout the evening, the event seemed to be a success.
“I’ve heard from people that Carnaval was the best out of the three cultural shows this year, and that people especially liked the skit this year,” sophomore Tian Qiu said. Qiu portrayed Miss China in the skit. “Audience turnout was about what I thought it would be. I think we almost sold out the show for both nights.”
Cheng was very pleased with audience response.
“On Friday, I thought it was more students and Saturday, more parents, so the two audiences responded differently. They laughed at the right times and clapped at the right times, so I felt really good as the scriptwriter,” Cheng said.
Participant Catherine Schuler, who danced the mambo, was also pleased.
“I thought it was great, and it was a lot of fun,” Schuler said.
Much of the audience seemed to enjoy the performance.
“[The dances] are pretty lively, pretty spirited. I really enjoyed it,” senior Ken Chen said.