Hispanic Festival Showcases Cultures, Costumes and Dance

By Malik, Nadia | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), November 20, 2006 | Go to article overview

Hispanic Festival Showcases Cultures, Costumes and Dance


Malik, Nadia, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Nadia Malik Daily Herald Staff Writer

The shades of the Northwest suburbs, accented with music and colorful costumes, were on display Sunday afternoon in Arlington Heights.

The Forest View Educational Center played host to the 22nd annual Hispanic Festival, which featured the Mexican Folklore Dance Company of Chicago. The festival grew out of a small event that Elk Grove High School parents used to put together two decades ago.

"We have an increasingly diverse population, and people are interested in learning about other cultures," said Michael Field, director of community education for Northwest Suburban High School District 214 and an organizer of the event.

Field said while much of the Hispanic population in the area may be of Mexican origin, there are other prevalent groups, which is why the program always features dancers and music from other countries.

This year, Tierra Colombiana and the Taino Dance Company did dances from Colombia and Puerto Rico, which illustrated the origins of their cultures.

Taino performed a salsa, which comes from Cuba and Puerto Rico and grew in New York in the 1950s. Tierra Colombiana portrayed a mixture of cultures in its music, which has influences from African slaves, indigenous groups and Europe. …

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