Brazil Cultura pumps up, brings down Fulkerson

By Ellis Cross

September 22, 2012

The presentation of Brazil Cultura rocked the house at Fulkerson Center Wednesday, Sept. 19, in a romping display of Brazilian music, food and drink. This is the third time the show has played at Missouri Western according to band leader Ninja Pinto. He took command of the conga drums throughout the evening's performance. "We have been performing at schools for years now and have always enjoyed Missouri Western," Pinto said. "We do it all, schools, bars, nightclubs, and we would do a funeral if we get a chance." The hard hitting beat may be unusual for a funeral, but at this party it was well received. President Dr. Robert Vartabedian congratulated Interim Director of Student Engagement and Residence Hall Director Lisa Hamblen on a wonderful event during the performance. "We have had a great turnout and had to even bring in more chairs," Hamblen said. "Now all we need is for people to get up and move." It wasn't long until the dance floor filled with adults and children alike. The event was held in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month and presented by the Center for Multicultural Education. The festivities included food and drink from Aramark. The menu included Churrasco (BBQ pork) Pao de Queijo (Brazilian cheese bread) and Suco Tropical (Brazilian Punch). Artful dancing included machetes, sticks, martial arts and several moves in grass skirts seldom seen on Western's campus. Pinto led the audience in a rhythmic hand clapping exercise. He said that they had tried this at a Latino event recently and they did not do as well as this audience. "Western students have rhythm," Pinto said. "They killed it." Freshman Emily Giljum said she had first been exposed to this type of music by a recording in high school. "I knew I would like it before I came," she said. "It's really upbeat and easy to dance to." She confessed though that she didn't dance during this performance. She claims to be too shy. The children were not shy at this party and began to fill the dance floor about 45 minutes into the presentation. There was every kind of dance from the unrecognizable to break dancing to really sensual Brazilian moves. The professional dancers wore every kind of costume from shorts and t-shirts to grass skirts. A couple of the girls were wearing feathers. Yes, feathers.