One of the biggest Homecoming events was the Culture Show that took place in the Kimmel Theatre on October 11th at 6 pm. The Culture Show was sponsored by the student organization, Eyes of the World, and presented acts from many diverse cultures and countries around the world.
Halee Schomberg (16), the secretary of Eyes of the World, said that the Culture Show has been an annual Cornell College tradition for around six years and is meant to demonstrate the importance of diversity to the Cornell community.
Eyes of the World reached out to the participants of this year’s Culture Show during last academic year in order to let students have enough time to prepare their performance.
Eyes of the World President Cris Fernandez-Reyes (16) said of the event, “For the past 3 years we have lost time for preparation of the Culture Show. Two years ago we had an additional 2 weeks of time and this year we lost those two weeks and it became more of a creative challenge for us to get things organized and running. However, seeing the show become a success and with very minor difficulties just demonstrates to us that cooperation among our peers and setting aside differences will help achieve goals. This is the essence of Eyes of the World, to acknowledge and set aside difference for the greater good of everyone.”
To start the show, members of Slick Shoes performed a Charleston routine of their own design to the song “Dance With Me Tonight” by Olly Murs.
Then, Mandy Mukozaka (16) played a Nada Sou Sou song on her violin. The title of the song means “large tears are falling” in the Okinawan language. The song was originally written by Japanese folk and jazz singer, Ryoko Moriyama and the band Begin.
Nicci Geiger (16) showed the beauty of baton twirling, a performance of agility, coordination, and dance. Baton twirling requires careful control of the body in order to coordinate a metal rod.
Stephanie Santiago (17) and Noah Foster-Frau (17) performed a very famous Spanish song called “Eres Tu.” The song was originally performed by Fifth Harmony, and the lyrics are about a change in a relationship between two lovers.
Vyjayanti Nair (16) performed a belly dance that combines elements of Indian dance, Egyptian oriental, and American tribal dance styles. For her performance, Vyjayanti danced to a mix of two songs: “Concrete Wall” by Zee Avi and an Arabic song by Amr Diab.
Then, Jess Reed (16), Leena Kaye (17), and Maria Catherino (16), members of Lyrically Inclined, performed original slam poetry for the audience.
Thao Luu (16) and Saki Iwata (16) sang the ballad called “Sakurairo Maukoro (Xe Dap)” in Japanese and Vietnamese respectively. The Japanese ballad describes a romantic story when the cherry blossom blooms, while the Vietnamese portion tells a story of a young couple falling in love.
Kayne Whyte (16) played the Native American flute and told one of the stories of its origin.
After his performance, Andrea Corbet (17), Anh Pham (16), Aeint Thet Ngon (16), Nam Pham (17), and Stephanie Santiago (17) presented different traditional costumes of such countries as China, Vietnam, Japan, and India.
The fashion show was followed by a few different dance routines. The Dance Team performed a very modern and energetic dance, while Glorisette Santiago-Rivera (17) and Idalis Feliciano (17) danced Salsa.
Then, AJ Lee (16) sang the Bogoshipda ballad, which is about a sad story of two lovers. After the song, Beta Psi Eta recited a poem by Pamela Rae and the mission statement for the Beta Psi Eta sorority.
Members of the Ukulele Club sang “Leaving on a Jet Plane”.
Afterwards, Melinda Medina (16) and Alfredo Medina (18) performed a Mexican folkloric dance as a representation of the Mexican Revolution.
The Culture Show ended with the Bamboo Dance, which combines Filipino and Vietnamese traditions and was performed by a group of fifteen students.
Longtime participant Thao Luu (16) said of her experience, “I love the Culture Show. I have been representing my country Vietnam in the show since freshman year of college. I think it’s so cool to see the different cultural aspects that students have brought to Cornell. I can’t believe that this year is my last Culture Show at Cornell.”
Polina Durneva, Staff Writer
Featured image text:
Bamboo Dance finale
Photo taken by Polina Durneva