Shakira And Lopez Take Super Bowl Halftime

halftime performance leaves some stunned and others proud

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On Sunday, Feb. 2, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira performed at the 54th annual Super Bowl in Miami and made history as the first Latinas to lead a Super Bowl halftime performance.

Some viewers were left sitting on the edge of their seats while others found themselves embarrassed to watch it with their families. Giving consideration to both of the musician’s backgrounds, the performance tried to make good on its intentions to take some of Miami’s culture and infuse it into the performance. 

 Freshman Chiara Davidson enjoyed the Super Bowl game while watching it with her two other sisters. 

 “I [liked the performance] because I haven’t seen the performers in a while, so it was fun to see them again,” Davidson said. “I really like Shakira, as I remember listening to her songs when I was little.”

Shakira led the performance first, drawing the camera with her Columbian infused dancing and vocals. Her choreography incorporated a, by some accounts, risque belly-dancing solo, one of Shakira’s iconic moves. This for some was the first indication that this performance would be a bit controversial.

After Shakira sang her 2014 hit “Empire,” she danced with a rope in a solo to Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” . At this point, it was clear to parents that this was not the sort of family-friendly performance they had hoped for.

“The performance was cool but I didn’t think it was appropriate [for the audience] because of the pole dancing and belly dancing,” Freshman Katie Wells said.

After Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie,” Jennifer Lopez took the stage, wearing a Versace motor-chic leather outfit to perform “Jenny from the Block.” She also performed on a pole for a majority of her opening act, which led to people questioning if it was even appropriate for prime-time audiences.

 “[When Lopez was on the pole] my parents got freaked out, because my little sister was in the room,” Davidson said.

A thread on Facebook began to gain traction soon after the performance ended. Users explain how appalled they were that pole dancing and belly dancing were broadcasted for all of America to see. Other users discussed how they moved their middle school son into the other room and how they were disgusted that pole dancing was now mainstream.

While some people saw the performance as wildly inappropriate, others applauded the duo for an exciting show, which is what half-time performances are all about.

“I liked seeing the performance because they [Shakira and Lopez] are fun and they have not done a lot of shows recently,” Junior Advaith Subramanian said.

The duo brought the heat to their performance by incorporating their individual family heritage. Lopez celebrated her heritage with a feathered cape that showed the U.S. flag on one side and the Puerto Rican flag on the other.  She opened the cape up to show the Puerto Rico side as her daughter, Emme Muñiz, and a children’s choir joined her for the opening notes of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA.” 

Shakira incorporated her Lebanese and Columbian heritage by integrating belly dancing into her performance. During Shakira’s belly dance solo to “Kashmir,” Shakira let her middle eastern roots shine. Shakira used an instrument called the mijwiz which is a short reed flute popular in most Middle Eastern music as well as the derebeke which is a goblet-shaped drum popular in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, and the Mediterranean.

When Shakira fearlessly crowd-surfed, her tongue movement that left viewers shocked. The tongue movement, however, was meant on purpose. This is called zaghrouta, which is commonly found in Middle Eastern celebrations. The zaghrouta is used for celebration and cheer and was Shakira’s way of furthering mixing her heritage into her performance.