Queen of the Carnival's HPU visit spotlights Hispanic heritage
Hispanic heritage and culture will take center stage in High Point this week, when the much-celebrated Queen of the Carnival will visit High Point University.
Daniela Cepeda Tarud, who was elected the 2013 Queen of the Carnival in Barranquilla, Colombia — that nation’s most important folklore celebration — will spend several days at HPU during a visit that will culminate with a public presentation and performance Saturday evening.
Her appearance at HPU is part of the university’s Faculty Cultural Enrichment Grant Series, and is in conjunction with the observance of Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month.
“It is an honor to host Daniela Cepeda Tarud at HPU,” said Hayden Carron, assistant professor of Spanish, who is arranging the young woman’s visit. “I selected her as part of the faculty grant series because of the unique insight into the rich tradition and importance of the Caribbean Carnival that she can convey to students and community members.”
Tarud will bring her tour, “Sigueme el Paso” — or “Follow my Footsteps” — which explains the history, origins and evolution of dance in the Caribbean Carnival. She will perform the Carnival dances with Quillami, a traditional Latin dance troupe.
“One of the most important cultural aspects of Caribbean culture is this event, the Carnival,” Carron explained. “It’s held different dates in every country, but most have the same characters and performances, and it’s a time that united the entire region.”
As Queen of the Carnival in Colombia, Tarud is the ambassador of the Carnival’s many colorful traditions.
“She goes on a tour of Colombia to present the traditions of the Carnival, and now she will be bringing her tour here,” Carron said. “It explains the centuries-long traditions of the Carnival in the Caribbean region through dancing and performances.”
In addition, Tarud will speak in several HPU classes during the week leading up to her public appearance Saturday evening, which will take place in the university’s Hayworth Fine Arts Center.
The grant series that’s allowing Tarud’s visit assists faculty in planning vibrant, intellectually stimulating, cultural events that feature nationally renowned academics, artists and performers. The grants support programming in all academic disciplines and help introduce students to thought-provoking ideas in art, literature, science, philosophy and business.
“Our idea is that the Carnival is an event that unites the entire Latin American region, all Hispanics,” Carron said.
“We wanted to bring this event to the High Point community to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, and to open the doors of the university to the Hispanics in this area.”
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Want to go?
Daniela Cepeda Tarud, the 2013 Queen of the Carnival in Barranquilla, Colombia, will present a master lecture and performance at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Pauline Theatre of Hayworth Fine Arts Center, on the campus of High Point University.
Her presentation will focus on the music, folklore, customs and cultural importance of the Carnival for the Caribbean.
Quillami, a troupe of traditional Latin dancers, will also perform.
The event is part of HPU’s Faculty Cultural Enrichment Grant Series.
Admission is free and open to the public.