The week before spring break, USF Kasamahan, the Filipino-American student organization, presented their 36th annual Barrio Fiesta – a performance filled with dancing, elaborate costumes and the underlying theme of social justice.
The performance featured dozens of students in seven dances spread across two acts and interlaced with skits that followed the story of a young Filipina woman who was tricked into leaving her family in the Philippines to come to the United States to work illegally in what she was told would be a glamorous modeling career, only to be enslaved in a house of prostitution.
The dances included the Linggisan, where the student performers wore costumes and moved in ways that were meant to mimic a bird in flight, and La Jota, a Spanish-influenced number which incorporates bamboo castanets. All of the dances included complex and visually stimulating costumes.
The students practiced for weeks before the performance, and could often be seen in the evenings in the McLaren center conference rooms learning and rehearsing dances and preparing costumes and making other arrangements for their widely popular show.
Barrio was performed in Presentation Theater on Friday and Saturday, March 13 and 14 in front of a packed house both nights which included many Kasamahan alumni and parents of current members as well as students, faculty and staff.