A typical day spent studying in Butler was just one of the scenes that the members of Sabor, Columbia’s first Latinx dance troupe, unexpectedly enlivened with their dazzling, innovative routines.
The audience proceeded to cheer during all of these scenes much to the delight of Laura Arbelaez, BC ’19, president of Sabor, who had encouraged the audience to “be loud” just before the annual Fall Show began.
The sold out performance, which took place on Saturday, Dec. 8 at Roone Arledge Auditorium, was centered around the theme “Sabor: Desclasificado, University 101”. To complement the theme, roundtables near the stage were decorated with “Sabor University” diplomas and the programs were titled “Yearbook 2018.”
The show consisted of different scenes inspired by everyday university life, infused with a mixture of salsa, bachata, merengue, and reggaetón. A fictitious radio station host, “Ricky Rosa” from “W-Sabor Radio,” would introduce these familiar scenes before dancers transformed them into vibrant spectacles with their incredible choreographies.
In “Ave María, I gotta go!”, Sabor reinvigorated the common experience of waking up early in the morning to attend a lecture with the joyous rhythms of salsa; in “Las Posponedoras,” they subverted the stereotypical college party with the highly energetic beats of latin urban music; and in “Columbia Crushes,” they made sure love was in the air with the tender, romantic sounds of bachata.
Songs from Juan Luis Guerra, J Balvin, Aventura, and more accompanied Sabor’s stunning choreographies, providing a refreshing, distinctly Latin take on university life.
The impressive routines prompted the audience to frequently scream “Sa-sa-sa-sabor!” or loudly exclaim the names of dancers, including seniors Cecley Hill, CC ’19, and Sarah Jinich, BC ’19. And, at the end of the performance, the dance troupe celebrated the brilliance of Hill, Jinich, and the rest of the seniors by gifting them a bouquet of roses.
As the show came to a close, Sabor also reminded the audience that the proceeds went to their annual community outreach initiative, Relevé. The program provides first-generation, low-income students with the opportunity to experience a weekend at an elite university and attend workshops on financial aid, college admissions, and the performing arts.
Even after the lights turned on, members of the troupe were dancing along to the salsa tunes that kept playing. Sabor’s Fall Show proved how Latin dance can wonderfully integrate itself into the many experiences of campus life and beyond.