World Music and Dance Festival
April 28 to May 2, 2008
Schedule of Events
Monday, April 28
Monday, April 28
Student Body Election Forum
Come out and hear the candidates for the governing board of the Associated Students of Merced College. Ask questions and get answers. Here’s your chance to get involved in student government.
Tuesday, April 29
UC Merced Taiko Drummers
The origins of Japanese taiko are still shrouded in mystery. Taiko, which refers to the drums, was likely first used as a battlefield instrument to intimidate and frighten the enemy. This is a common use of drums throughout history among many cultures. Because taiko were the only instruments that could be heard across the entire battlefield, taiko drums were used in battle to issue commands and coordinate movements by the 16th Century. Taiko stared on the UC Merced campus during the Fall 2007 semester. Composed of individuals interested in learning the Japanese style of drumming. The first group performance was at the Lunar New Years Festival on the UC Merced campus. The first piece to be performed is called Renshu, mixed with a swing feel. The second piece is called Matsuri.
Amilton Barboza’s Salsa Dance Group
There has been a resurgence of dance. New styles of dance like the salsa have attracted the attention of both young and mature people who want to do something more than just stay at home and watch television. Salsa is a mixture of Afro-Cuban music, originating from Guaguanco, also the birthplace of Rumba, Tumba and Mambo. Salsa appears to be a mixture of all these types of rhythms and let’s not also forget cumbia and American Swing. This is what makes today’s modern salsa.
All God’s Children Gospel Singers
Arriving from a local Christian school, these young gospel singers carry on the tradition of American gospel music, which has its roots in the African-American experience. At its most basic level, gospel music is sacred music, which had its earliest iterations toward the end of the nineteenth century. It is folk music which suggests that it and its secular counterparts are greatly influenced by each other. Just as much of the contemporary gospel music of today sounds like R & B and Hip-Hop, so did most of the early gospel music sound like the Blues.
Wednesday, April 30
South Pacific Dancers
The South Pacific Dancers are a Polynesian dance troupe performing the dances of Hawaii and Tahiti, showcasing the graceful hand movements of the Hawaiian Hula, the precision of the Hawaiian ‘Implement’ dances, the mystery and intrigue of the ancient chants, the vibrant colors of authentic costumes, the pulse and excitement of the dances of Tahiti, and the beautiful songs and rhythms of the South Pacific. If you are looking for Hawaiian dancers, take a journey to the South Pacific and enjoy with us.
Hmong Dance Group
From China to the US via Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand, the Hmong have strived to keep their cultural heritage for centuries. One aspect of their explicit cultural elements could be depicted through their dances that have been swayed and acculturated by many other cultural influences, namely Chinese language and music, Lao dances and religion, and lately the French education and culture. Hmong dances portray their traditional life style, colorful clothing, arts, music, and songs of the people of Laos. They demonstrate the unique characteristics of Hmong culture and the Hmong way of life.
Thursday, May 1
Cal "Sky Hawk" Haynes
Cal "Sky Hawk" Haynes, a Native American from the Cherokee and Choctaw tribes, offers Merced College students the unique opportunity to see American Indian dances as they are done in modern Powwow. Throughout the Eagle, Rabbit, and Snake dances, Sky Hawk presents the history of stories of his people. Each authentic costume has a story that lends special meaning to the dance being performed. The intricate footwork displayed in each of the dances and the fast pace of the hoop dance are testaments to both the skill involved and the practice required for perfecting the performance.
Friday, May 2
Roosevelt High School Marimba Band
The marimba was first introduced in American in 1908 by the Hurtado Family Marimba Band during a three-year tour. Other Guatemala marimba bands followed suit and created a big trend in the entertainment scene. Due to the popularity of marimba playing, companies such as Deagan started to develop and manufacture this different form of the xylophone. There is no standard form yet developed. Most of the instruments were custom made and some models were so different that it hardly classified as a marimba. Today, mirambas are far more standardized compared to to those made in the early 20th Century.
Roosevelt High School Mariachi Band
The only thing more Mexican than tequila is mariachi and it seems a shame to have one without the other. Mariachi goes beyond music, it is the sum of a cultural revolution expressed through a group of musicians, dressed in popular clothing (most recently charro suits) which encompasses the essence of Mexico and its people. It is something cultural, spiritual and traditional that is unique to this country, an experience not to be missed. The word mariachi refers to the musicians now commonly seen in restaurants or strolling down the streets, dressed in silver studded charro outfits with wide brimmed hats playing a variety of instruments which include violins, guitars, basses, vihuelas (a 5 string guitar) and trumpets.
Their songs speak about machismo, love, betrayal, death, politics, revolutionary heroes and even animals (one particularly famous song is “La Cucaracha”). Mariachi originated in the southern part of the state of Jalisco sometime in the 19th century. No one is sure where the name comes from although a variety of theories have been postulated and, depending on which best fits the postulators needs, are adhered to. The truth is that no one knows where the name originated, but it is one which is associated with a great deal of prestige not only in Mexico, but around the world. The origins of the mariachi itself (the group, culture, music, etc.) are not much easier to trace. Mariachi is the sum of a cultural evolution which has taken place over the last century or so in Mexico.