By Kelsi Peace, Features Editor
As she explains how a family tradition will make its debut on the Ethnos stage this weekend, April Gutierrez is all smiles.
Her father, Marty Cilvas, and 10-year-old cousin, Bobby, will join Gutierrez, sophomore accounting major from El Paso, to perform the Shaw Dance and the War Dance, a Tigua tradition passed down from her father. And while Gutierrez has performed the Shaw Dance for family at an annual fiesta, she said she is still a little anxious and excited about performing.
Gutierrez said she is also excited to bring a new tradition to Ethnos: “We’re the first Native American dance to ever be in Ethnos history,” she said.
Ethnos, an international culture show sponsored by the International Students’ Association, will combine music, dancing and acting to present a story and showcase cultural traditionsranging from an Asian fan dance to a hip-hop dance.
Rolando Gutierrez, Ethnos director and producer and junior graphic design and electronic media major from Torreon, Mexico, said he wanted to create a script that was “fast, funny and will tie in the acts well.”
He is keeping the reason for the theme a secret, Gutierrez said, because he wants people to come see the show and be surprised. This year’s theme is “Ethnos: Twilight.”
Gutierrez was quick to add that other students contributed to the script: Mary Tan, junior English and accounting major from Singapore; Joel Herold, junior nursing major from Fredericksberg, Va.; and Amy Johnson, sophomore English major from Midland.
This year, Gutierrez said, the idea for the script was ready before the auditions began, which helped to blend the narrative with the various acts, a tough feat to accomplish when individual acts are so diverse.
More than 100 students are involved in the show, Gutierrez said.
More dancing acts have been included in the show this year, making the show more visual, Gutierrez said.
Natalie Ramos, sophomore business management major Columbia, said her hip-hop act is well prepared for the show.
The group of 10 students decided to organize a hip-hop act for Ethnos simply because they love to dance, Ramos said. Performers spent hours practicing their individual acts before coming together to work on the production as a whole.
Takumi Matacumoto, junior engineering science major from Japan, returns to Ethnos for his third year in the Japanese dance, which has grown to include 20 people this year, Matacumoto said.
Practices began in mid-September, Matacumoto said, and the group met weekly until November, when practice time increased to three or four times per week. The act is about four minutes long.
Ethnos is the largest student-directed production on campus, Gutierrez said, and also the production most attended by students.
“It’s not only that the show is great … there is great feedback, which creates great ambiance,” he said.
Students have a lot to learn from the cultural diversity at Ethnos, Guiterrez said. For example, a missions major who plans to work in Japan can witness firsthand a Japanese cultural tradition and way of thinking, he said.
Performances will be at 7:50 p.m. in Cullen Auditorium Friday and Saturday. Tickets can be purchased in the McGlothlin Campus Center for $4 or at the door for $5. Contact Rolando
Gutierrez at 325.320.9333 or Mary Tan at 325.320.5175 for more information. Ethnos T-shirts will also be on sale for $10.