Saturday may have been a non-stop downpour, but that did not extinguish the flames of Incendio. The Brandeis Latinx Students Organization hosted their third annual cultural show, Incendio, to honor Latinx arts. Proceeds from the show went toward Border Angels, an organization that helps with immigration reform, migrant rights and the challenges that have arisen from the Trump administration. The theme was “Premio Lo Nuestro,” which is a television special on Univision. Levin Ballroom was decorated in red and gold, and the BLSO e-board members were dressed in award-show attire. The night started with host Miranda Hurtado-Ramos’s ’19 introducing herself and the e-board.

 The first performance of the night was from Kaos Kids, the campus’ only hip-hop dance group. The group was dressed in purple and black and danced to a variety of songs by popular hip-hop artists like Rihanna and Nicki Minaj.

The next group to perform was Brandeis’ majorette dance team, Toxic, who danced to an array of Latin songs. The dancers were dressed in black crop tops paired with fishnet leggings. 

There was a break in between performances during which the Best-Dressed award nominees were chosen by the e-board, but Hurtado-Ramos welcomed others to nominate themselves. Multiple people arrived onstage wearing their spiffiest outfits. After introducing everybody, Hurtado told the audience that she would give them time to consider the options before voting.

 The next performers were Boston University’s Sabor Latino. The group danced the Salsa, a traditional Latin dance that comes from Afro-Cuban culture. 

During the intermission, the audience was treated to a delicious meal catered by Mi Tierra, an authentic Central American restaurant on Moody Street. The roasted chicken and pupusas were the cherry on top of an already-great evening.

After the intermission, Miranda returned to the stage with the Best Dressed nominees to select a winner. The voting was conducted by the audience cheering for the person they wanted to win. E-board member Consuelo Pereira-Lazo ’19 won and was awarded a red vinyl record trophy.

Afterwards, Milton Academy’s Ritmo showed everyone that high schoolers can give college students a run for their money. Donning red and black, they lit up the room. Everyone could agree that they definitely had “ritmo,” which means rhythm in Spanish. 

   The show took a break from dancing to shine the spotlight on a few student poets. The first poet was Vanerich Polanco ’20. Palanco shared two poems: one about systemic injustice in the United States against Black and brown people, and a second about the beauty of her home country, The Dominican Republic.

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FANCY DANCING: Dancers in colorful flowing skirts took the stage and impressed the audience with their moves.

Polanco was succeeded by Imani Islam ’20. Islam is the vice president of the Caribbean Culture Club and shared her experience as an Afro-Caribbean woman with a poem that resonated with students of all different backgrounds.

The last poet for the evening was Angela Mendez ’19. Mendez shared her experience as a Chicano woman with two beautiful poems. She spoke about the struggle of being bilingual in the rigid, closed-minded United States public school system, feeling disconnected from mainstream American culture and the anger she feels when people patronize her parents for speaking with accents. Angela definitely  touched  the  entire room with her passionate and raw poems.

 The last group of the evening was Brandeis’ Latinx dance team, Latinxtreme. The first dance featured a group in long, colorful dresses, while the second dance featured students dancing in pairs. 

At the end of the evening, Miranda asked the audience to choose a winner for Best Performance. Milton Academy’s Ritmo won, mainly for their ability to outshine all of the college students despite being relative novices.

Overall, the evening was a success. Between the great food and fascinating performances, Incendio was fire!