Brandeis Latinx Student Organization (BLSO) held their third annual culture show, which celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month. This year’s Incendio culture show, held this past Saturday, was in the style of the Premio Lo Nuestro, a Spanish-language awards show honoring the best of Latin music, presented by Univision, a Spanish-language television network based in the United States. The BLSO E-Board presented two awards that night: Best Dressed and Best Performance.
Incendio featured nine performers throughout the night. The first performer was BLSO’s own Miranda Hurtado-Ramos ’19. Hurtado-Ramos is vice-president of BLSO. A native of Houston, Texas, with a Colombian and Mexican background, Hurtado-Ramos chose to honor her Tex-Mex roots with a traditional Mexican song, “Tú Sólo Tú.”
BLSO invited various groups from the Brandeis community, such as Kaos Kids, Brandeis’ premier competitive hip-hop dance crew. They perform and teach all over campus as well as other universities. Fitting for Halloween, the group had a monster bash theme.
Also performing was Toxic Majorette Dance Line, the first majorette style dance line at Brandeis. The 2018-19 academic year marks Toxic’s first year as an independent, university chartered club. In a nod to Latinx culture, Toxic danced to popular Latinx reggaetón artists, such as Daddy Yankee.
LatinXtreme, a dance group under BLSO, is the only dance team at Brandeis that represents all Latinx communities. The team tries to show the diversity of dance in the Latinx community, from traditional to Afro-Latino inspired dance, to reggaetón. In accordance with their mission, LatinXtreme performed a traditional dance as well as modern reggaetón.
Incendio also featured poets from the Brandeis community. Imani Islam ’20 spoke on her experience as an Afro-Caribbean student. Kyrah Daniels ’22 talked about her Dominican heritage and growing up Latinx in New York City. Angela Mendez ’19 spoke about her educational journey and the duality of being bilingual in America.
BLSO, in their effort to connect with the wider Boston Latinx community, invited performers from surrounding areas.
Sabor Latino has been a dance team for over seven years at Boston University, specializing in Latin American rhythms. They aim to fuse modern dance styles with traditional Latin dances such as salsa, bachata and merengue.
Another guest group was Milton Academy’s Ritmo. Ritmo is a student-led, student-choreographed Latinx dance group at Milton Academy. Their goal is to educate the Milton community on Latin and Caribbean culture through dance and music. Incendio was Ritmo’s first performance outside of their campus.
Incendio was modestly attended, due to bad weather, however you would never be able to tell that from the cheering sounds of the crowd in attendance. The event relied heavily on audience participation, and BLSO members regularly engaged with audience members. “We didn’t want our audience to simply watch the show but feel a part of it and included in the community,” said BLSO Secretary Jennifer Manzano ’21.
BLSO also held a silent auction to benefit Border Angels. Border Angels is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that advocates for human rights, humane immigration reform and social justice with a special focus on issues related to the U.S.-Mexico border. Border Angels engages in community education and awareness programs that include guided trips to the desert to place water along migrant crossing routes as well as to the border to learn about the history of U.S.-Mexico border policy and experience the border fence firsthand.
BLSO, founded as AHORA! in 1998 in the Intercultural Center, is a student-run organization whose purpose is to provide social, academic and emotional support for the Latinx community. With various educational events throughout the year, BLSO aims to enlighten all who are interested in Latinx culture, history and current events. BLSO seeks to provide and maintain a safe space for all Latinx students to reflect and discuss concerns surrounding the Latinx community.