While working on what turn out to be “Brazil” not everything was rainbows and butterflies from the start. At the beginning of the process different views and ideas were given. There were a variety of topics in which the Brazil group wanted to perform, but at the end we all agree that immigration was the best. The reason why we decided immigration was the best choice was because we all come from different places of the world but in the end we are all the same. That although we might not look the same, or speak the same languages, we are all in this together and this is what the Brazil group wanted to show others through our performance. I was very pleasant with the theme not only because I understood the concept well, but because I am part of the immigrant population that come to America for a better future.
Immigration was indeed the perfect choice, but when it came to discussing the location of the performance the conflict started. At first we all agree on my suggestion that it was best to perform at MacArthur Pak. The reason I suggested MacArthur Park, was because MacArthur Park is a significant point in which riots against immigrants created chaos and history. I was very please that everyone at first agree, but due to the lack of transportation the idea was ignore. Not only was the lack of transportation a reason the idea was not successful but also certain comments that were said. Some of the comments that certain people said were that MacArthur Park is a dangerous place, and that the people around it are bad. I personally took the comments very seriously because I live two blocks away from the place, but I just decided to ignore what was said and avoid conflict. Thanks to my TA Ryan I was able to let out my anger and I felt a lot better. In the end it all turn out good because the location ended up being at UCR, which I believe was at best for everyone.
As a group member of Brazil my main task was to search for music that identify with our theme of immigration. I was able to find a lot of music, but unfortunately they were all in Spanish. In Spanish there is the existence of “corridos” which are songs that tell a story from beginning to end, and a lot deal with the life of an immigrant. I wanted to use a corrido for our performance but it did not quite fit in with the dancing. Corridos are usually slow, and I figure out that it was not going to makes sense to dance in orisha style with a slow song. Fortunately all my teammates agree that it was best to search for a new song. We all contributed to the searching of a new song and we ended up with the song called “Fanfarra.” This song was the best one not only because it had rhythm but because it was the perfect song for the dance movements we had.
The dance movements were very significant. A lot came from the dances of the orishas, but it was very good because they all had significant points to immigration. Overall, I was very please with the choreography, the music, the customs, and everything else. The big day arrive and Brazil was full of spirit and ready to go. I was very nervous when it was our time to perform, but when I noticed that everybody else was there sharing the same experience with me I knew that I indeed was not alone. Just like my theme of immigration, I notice that CHASS CONNECT was all in this together. That although there were problems at the beginning, in the end nothing matter. Just the fact that we started out with stress and agony, and ended up with a celebration is an experience that I will never forget. I found it very significant that I was able to work with a team fill with completely different ideas that in the end turned out to be the best team I have ever worked with.
Overall, my experience in Brazil helped me grow as a person. I learned a lot of new thing such as working well with others and being able to understand and respect different ideas. At first I was very shy, I was so shy that I was not able to speak up my mind and let me ideas get noticed. It took me a while to understand the concept of raising up my voice, but soon enough to share my ideas with my team Brazil. I never knew that being able to communicate well with others can bring up an incredible experience that in the end makes you grow as a person. I am very thankful that I was able to work with my teammates of Brazil. Thanks to them my experience has been the best and I will never forget them. I am just so grateful with CHASS CONNECT and all the people I meet. Is significant how a simple assignment such as this one of a parade ended being a reflection to my life.
By: Brenda Castro