Skeletons take over Smith Student Center

Published by Brendan Howe, Date: November 5, 2019
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Haley Potter, senior journalism major storms down the stage in her La Llorona performance after realizing she killed her children.

DIA DE LOS MUERTOS SHOWCASE

This week the Student Organization of Latinos, Hispanics, and Allies (SOL) continued their annual tradition of the DIA DE LOS MUERTOS showcase to celebrate their culture with the campus.

Posted by WSRU-TV News on Saturday, November 2, 2019

In a dimly lit Smith Student Center ballroom, students of Slippery Rock University sat in attendance, neon bracelets hugging their wrists, as eerie performers with skulls painted on their face, danced, posed and acted on a runway.

The Student Organization of Latinos/Hispanics and Allies (SOL) held its annual Day of the Dead showcase in the Smith Student Center on Tuesday evening, teaching students about Hispanic folklore through energetic and animated performances.

“Dia de los Muertos” is a two day holiday that unifies the living and the dead, replacing mourning with celebration. Over 75 students, many of them sporting white face paint of skulls, or Calaveras, participated in eight different performances which demonstrated a legend from a different Hispanic culture.

“This event means a lot to me because it’s part of my culture,” Christine Pease-Hernandez, an assistant professor of communication, said. “To be able to share this with our students, faculty, and staff here is very special to me.”

Pease-Hernandez, whose mother was from Mexico, added that she loved seeing students from different backgrounds, whether they be organizational or racial, come together to promote diversity.

“This year,” said Emily Abreu, a senior environmental geoscie

nce and Spanish professional double major, “we tried to incorporate more of Latin America, using different folktales from different countries.”

One of the performances had senior journalism major Haley Potter, dressed in a white and black gown and veil, act as La Llorona, Spanish for the Weeping Woman. Her backstory was that she murdered her innocent children so that her unfaithful husband would love her again.

Other performances infused modern music by Rihanna and Kendrick Lamar, as well as bouncy Hispanic songs. Both Jamrock and the Rock Twirlers also made an appearance.

Between performances, students were invited to sample dulche de leche and quesadillas.

“It’s a tradition that celebrates the lives of loved ones that have passed on, so it’s supposed to be more uplifting,” Club president and senior integrated marketing and communications major Ignacio Cisneros said. “But we really hold these events on campus to teach other students about our culture.”

Cisneros said that, in a sense, the event has become one of SOL’s signatures because it’s modern and entertaining.

Starting in the summer, the planning for the event took about three months, Abreu said.

Cisneros felt the biggest reward was the costumes and makeup ultimately contributing to the show and making the stories cohesive.

After the cast was revealed to the audience to be not-so-menacing, they received a standing ovation, validating their hours of preparation for putting on such a celebratory evening.

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