As some of you already know, I (Liz) am working with fellow student Balogun Bishop and UAA's Spanish Club (La Tertulia) president Rachel Wintz to bring world-renowned Dominican bachata (and merengue) artist Joan Soriano to Alaska to play at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
He will be touring the West Coast of the United States this spring and summer with his band, which includes his brother, Fernando and sister, Griselda. They play authentic roots Dominican bachata and merengue - the way this music was originally played. Please see the following links for live videos and concert reviews:
As part of the proposed concert package, a week (or so) prior to the event, we will be screening the documentary "The Duke of Bachata" by documentary filmmaker Adam Taub at UAA. This documentary traces the roots of Dominican bachata and the life of Joan Soriano. It was an official selection at the Denver International Film Festival, the Thin Line Film Fest, and the Trinidad & Tobago Film Fest. It will be screened for free (thanks to a donation from Taub) and will be open to all. Here's more information on the film: http://www.bachatamovie.com/
The concert is slated for the early evening of Sunday, June 2nd. It will be held in the UAA Student Union (we will install a stage).
There will be plenty of space to dance, and prior to the concert, Alaska Dance Promotions will give a free workshop in bachata dance and perform several original latin dance routines.
Mid-way through the concert, there will be a raffle drawing to include prices of merchandise, a free pass to the Alaska Salsa Festival opening party, and a free 10-class bachata punch card from Alaska Dance Promotions. These are all thanks to very generous donations!
Examples of bachata dancing (to Soriano's music):
Example of ADP latin dance performances:
The event itself will be ALL AGES and FAMILY FRIENDLY, but the after-party will be held at Platinum Jaxx. Of course, attendees are free to come to any/all portion of the event as they see fit. So if you don't want to come to the classes, you can of course just come to the concert.
Best of all, the concert will be FREE or at a very low-cost to UAA students and at a very reasonable cost to the public. All of the proceeds will go towards the Spanish Club, La Tertulia.
The event will promote diversity, cultural understanding, facilitate positive relationships with UAA students and faculty and the wider Anchorage dance/music community as well as help build up the latin dance and music scene in the Anchorage area.
We are in the final stages of the event planning, however one roadblock is that some are skeptical as to if this event would be able to draw a significant crowd.
Tell me - Is there a thriving latin dance scene and bachata fan base in Anchorage? Do Anchorage locals want to hear an original performer from the caribbean play roots music? Are UAA students interested in world music and dance and would they come out on a summer Sunday in order to come out and support this event? Would UAA faculty also come out to support it?
In order to show that YES, there is an audience for this kind of an event in Anchorage, please sign the following petition. Your signature in no way obligates you, but we will show the list to the skeptics.
In the comments, please indicate if you are a UAA Student, UAA Faculty Member or Community Member and feel free to make any other comments you like. All the support we can get is welcome. :)
Please also forward this petition to anyone you think may be interested in this event - every little bit counts!
Our goal is to get 250 signatures by Thursday, March 7th. This petition will be of direct use in order to help make the event possible. The decision-makers will see whatever you write in the comments, so if you want this event to happen, make it count and tell us why!
Also, if you are interested in volunteering your time in any way the day of the event, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Same goes for if you would like to perform!
Liz, Balogun, & Rachel
UAA Spanish Club (La Tertulia), Alaska Dance Promotions, Alaska Salsa Festival