Talks With Vox: Reventón Latino
Get excited, Hoyas, because this Saturday marks the 8th annual performance of Reventón Latino, a celebration of Latino culture at Georgetown.
Vox recently sat down with Daisy Peraza (COL ’15) and Nacy Hinojos (SFS ’15), Reventón coordinators and board members, to discuss the details of Reventón Latino.
VOX: Can you tell Vox about Reventón Latino and how it started?
Peraza: So from what we know, Reventón Latino started with a group of students 8 years ago and it was to bring the Georgetown community together, [and for] Latinos to showcase different dances and traditions that we have. And also part of it was to let people who had never learned any salsa, bachata, other dances—to have them all join and learn a little bit about the culture. Over the years it has grown and this year we have over 300 dancers , so it’s huge. But we are modeling ourselves after Rangila and it’s grown pretty big. [And] we always try to incorporate a theme that represents the Latino culture, just so that the Georgetown community can have the opportunity to learn that we’re not just one monotone culture, but that there’s a lot of different traditions within it.
VOX: Can you describe some of the different dances?
Peraza: This year we have 14 dances, [including] Salsa, Bachata, Ballroom, Tango, Cumbia, Merengue, and Street Jazz Fusion. And so all of these dances are representative of different areas, either from South America, the Caribbean, Mexico. And then we have Samba too [a Brazilian dance]. People chose what they wanted to do. We have someone who studied abroad in Argentina, and she is teaching tango. So this year we have all sorts of dances to be very, very representative of everyone.
VOX: What kind of preparation do you have to do?
Peraza: We recruited anyone who was really interested in teaching the dance, and we had a director of choreography if anyone needed help putting together a choreography we would help them out, or if they were ready to just go, we let them do it all by themselves. Some people worked together in teams, so we had two choreographers doing that – and no one needs experience. Some people signed up for two dances, others just one – and most of the people have no experience dancing, so that’s what makes it so much fun because everyone is learning together. Everyone [freshmen through seniors] started practicing in January, and it’s only once or twice a week for about an hour, so it’s not a big time commitment either. Anyone is welcome to join.
VOX: Why did you pick Reventón as the name?
Peraza: Traditionally, that means celebration, so where we have it is as a celebration for everyone to really enjoy the night and celebrate the Latino culture. This year our theme is Carnaval, and since it is around Easter time, we though Carnaval would be very fitting for this. In other years past we have had other themes such as Día de los Muertos, and we have tried to incorporate that into the script we have throughout the night and have a storyline going. Every year we try to incorporate the theme.
VOX: Have you had to do any theme specific preparation?
Peraza: This year we tried to (for the storyline) look at the historical facts of Carnaval and focus on particular countries – for example, what does it mean for Mexico, or DR — how do they celebrate Carnaval? We have looked at the background and history to make sure we could incorporate that into the story line.
VOX: How was the location of Reventón decided upon?
Peraza: Usually it has been held in Gaston Hall, but because Gaston has had problems with the stage we had to find another location on campus and there was no other place, so we were forced to go to the Hotel and Conference center because it was the biggest space that we had that would allow for so many dancers on one stage at one time and for the amount of attendance that we are looking for.
VOX: What does the money go toward?
Peraza: In the past, we have donated to Students Helping Honduras, and this year we are still working with organizations to finalize who we are going to donate parts of the proceeds to. But every year we have made sure to give back to an organization on campus.
VOX: What is different about Reventón this year?
Hinojos: This year we have grown four times our size. In comparison to about 80 dancers that have been in the past, the growth has been huge. It’s the first time we are having Reventón in the spring semester, which is a powerful move on our end because we’re moving it to a semester where it has space to grow and continue to be a huge celebration.
VOX: Do you have anything else to add?
Peraza: I just want to say that for me, it’s a way for me to feel at home, like there is a part of me that I get to share with the rest of Georgetown. And that’s why I’ve always been very excited to join the board and be able to put this together for the entire Georgetown community. And this year I’m super excited because I can see how much it has expanded.
Hinojos: It has been quite a journey, but we’re really excited to have it in the Hotel conference center. The school has very supportive, so that’s exciting and encouraging. We have diplomats coming as well. We invite ambassadors and all of the representatives from all of the embassies from Latin America to come and join us, so all of our sponsors – the director of the center for Latin American studies, The managing director of the Latin American board – they’re going to join us. So it’s a very powerful way to unify the Latino community. And we have 950 spots to fill, so let’s do it.
Since you probably aren’t doing much else at 8 P.M. this Saturday, given the amount that has gone into perfecting the performances, Vox is sure that Reventón 2015 is going to be incredible.
Vox already bought her ticket, and she highly recommends that you don’t miss the performance. You can buy tickets here.