Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with Peruvian music and dance group ADÚ

María Postigo, Ph.D.

María Postigo is a native speaker from Spain. She teaches Spanish II, III/Hnrs & IV and is the Spanish Club Advisor at Canal Winchester HS. She is on the OFLA Secondary Language Learning Committee.

When it comes to cultural celebrations, we as educators try to make the experience as authentic as possible for our students.

This year we were thrilled to have the opportunity of celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by bringing the music and dance group ADÚ Proyecto Universal to perform in our school. It transmits culture and folk elements in a contemporary context by combining diverse disciplines such as dance, theatre and Peruvian tapping.

This group consists of 6 dancers, who perform original choreography supported by 2 musicians, who play charango (small guitar), violin and native wind instruments. ADÚ also performs percussive pieces on the cajón (wooden box). They are talented professionals who work on stage, but also do workshops in schools in Peru. They came to Ohio coinciding with Hispanic Heritage month and with the backing of several foundations to promote cultural exchanges. They played at the Stuart’s Opera House (Nelsonville), in some universities, like Denison and Ohio University, and in some high schools, like Bloom-Carroll and Canal Winchester. Peruvians are known for being very hospitable people and their dance community is vibrant and diverse. We were very lucky for this great cultural opportunity for our students and their families.

ADÚ presented the show ¡Sigo siendo! (I’m still myself), directed by Antonio Vilchez. His debut presents universal themes reflected in the reality of the Peruvian nation. These include a lack of identity, discrimination, foreign tolerance, the feeling of belonging and the appreciation for folk expressions understood as a means of creative and original development.

At the end of the show, our students went on the stage and spoke in Spanish with the dancers, who taught them a couple moves. Students were very happy to get exposed to authentic music and have the chance to practice the language.

After the show, a Peruvian family in the area invited the group, the foundation representative and me to have dinner in their house. The family served traditional Peruvian dishes like causa (a potato and chicken dish), lomo saltado (sirloin strips), ají (spicy sauce) and papas a la huancaina (potatoes with spicy cream). The food was delicious and it was a great way of reconnecting Peruvians who live in different parts of the world. My children also enjoyed learning some dances and gave them books, color pencils, stickers and candy to take to the schools in Peru, where ADÚ does workshops.

I hope our schools and other schools in Ohio have the opportunity of bringing them back another year. For more information, you can find ADÚ on Facebook or on the website that we used for our event: http://projectadu2015.wix.com/adu2015#!videopix/c1yi7

This entry was posted in General, Vol. 54, No. 2 - Winter 2016. Bookmark the permalink.

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