By Gwen Clayton
Ayoung Latina shuffles and sways around tables set at various angles in a large room at a local library, the sound of Spanish guitars fills the air. As she passes around each table, she gracefully sets down one book and picks up another as if changing partners. Lining the sides of the room are colorful paintings with icons of Latino culture. The crowd watches in wonder as they absorb the beauty and charm of what they are experiencing.
The event was called Danza Entre Libros Y Colores. The show, presented by Association Culturelle de’Escritores y Artistas Latinos (ACEAL), was an afternoon of local Latino music, dance, books and poetry held July 1 at the Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Branch Library on Irving Street.
The woman dancing was Sandra Ruiz Parrilla, director of ACEAL and organizer of the event.
“This event is to coach parents to let the kids get more into art and literature,” Parrilla said. “Not just kids but adults in the Latin Community. Most people just come here to work, work, work and they forget about their art. They forget about their talents. We’re trying to get people involved in this world of art and literature.”
Parrilla herself is a published author. Her book, “Invierno en el Crepusculo,” was released in April 2014.
Parrilla and her friends formed ACEAL two years ago as a cultural association promoting Latino writers and artists. In their early stages, they hosted poetry nights and literature workshop, but this year’s Danza Entre Libros Y Colores was the first to combine all aspects of art and culture.
Eight local authors, both Latino and non-Latino, were invited to bring their books and sit at tables during the event. Each author was given a few minutes during the program to talk about their books, with translators on hand to interpret English and Spanish.
There were also live performances by local musicians – one mariachi duo and a solo acoustic guitar player with a beat box to keep rhythm – and three painters exhibiting their works. Empanadas, tartas and other Argentinian fare from Maria Empanada Restaurant fed the crowd. The finale was the dancers – not professionals, but rather everyday people who love the culture and want to celebrate the arts.
For more information on ACEAL, call Sandra Ruiz Parrilla at 720- 620-3162 or Like the group’s Facebook page @acealcolorado.