Tufts’ Association of Latin American Students (ALAS) put on its annual culture show, titled “Familia Feud,” last Saturday evening in Cohen Auditorium. The show featured singing, dancing, spoken word and skits and was packed with entertaining and emotionally-charged performances.
True to its title, the culture show included three amusing student-made videos parodying the popular game show “Family Feud” (1976 – present), with sophomore Adrian Portela as host Steve Harvey. The short clips pitted the Ramirez family against the Vargas family, as they answered Family Feud-style survey questions.
The show opened with first-year Erick Orozco, who played a song on ukulele, dedicating it to his mother. Orozco was then joined by sophomore Jose Lopez on electric guitar playing Carlos Santana’s “Europa.” Later in the night, Orozco accompanied sophomore Matthew Wilson in giving a harmonic rendition of Prince Royce’s “Corazón Sin Cara.”
Seniors Liz Palma and Sylvia Montijo and alumna Valeria Ruelas (LA ’15) then delivered incredibly emotional performances. Palma and Montijo’s spoken word piece, “Learning to Love,” was an evocative and personal poem communicating their journeys toward self-love while fighting against the boundaries imposed by society. Meanwhile, Ruelas prefaced her performance with a condemnation of rape culture at Tufts and the university’s handling of sexual misconduct cases, dedicating her song to survivors of sexual assault. She belted Gloria Trevi’s version of “Él Me Mintió.”
The show’s dance acts included Tufts La Salsa and traditional Mexican folk dancing from Harvard Ballet Folklórico de Aztlán, as well as a Brazilian Samba by sophomore Marisol Consuegra, senior Rebeca Pessoa, junior Priscilla Sena and sophomore Amy Vasquez. Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad/Lambda Pi Chi, a national Latina sorority, step-and-strolled on stage, a tradition begun by historically black sororities and fraternities, which has since diffused to multicultural Greek letter organizations.
Tufts’ all-female step team ENVY also performed an enjoyable routine centered on zookeepers tracking down an escaped lion. Essence, Tufts all-women a Capella group dedicated to celebrating music of the African Diaspora, followed ENVY with an arrangement of “Thinking About You” by Frank Ocean and a gospel medley.
At the show’s intermission, there was a photo presentation, which acted as a bittersweet tribute to the ALAS’s graduating seniors.
Hosts Liz Palma and Daniela Salazar were charismatic and clearly beloved by the audience. Thanks to an efficient stage management team, led by first-years Hillary Rodriguez and Erick Orozco, the technical aspects of the show also ran smoothly.
Prior to the performances in Cohen, there was a dinner catered by Oasis Cafe in Medford at the Latino Center, and following the show, there was an afterparty in Hotung Café featuring DJ Nova.
With a wide array of performances, ALAS’ “Familia Feud” successfully showcased the varied talents of Tufts’ diverse Latin-American student community. The culture show ranged from rollicking to poignant and was engaging throughout the night.
“I really enjoyed the variety in the culture show since there were fun performances, powerful performances, songs, dances, some non-Tufts performers,” Tyler Cicero, a sophomore, said. “While I did not entirely know what to expect, I am glad I went to open myself up to a new scene at Tufts.”
The ALAS executive board, which has been planning the show since the beginning of the semester, put together a culture show every year as a “big showcase to celebrate our culture.”
“We’re proud to be able to share our culture with our community here at Tufts,” ALAS told the Daily in an email.