Asian Nite, hosted by the Asian American Cultural Center and the Pan Asian Council, showcased the stunning performances of groups and individuals to celebrate the continent’s vast and various cultures. Performers danced, sang, put on skits, read poetry, or did a little of everything, interspersed by the energetic emcees who followed a ‘90s theme to celebrate the AsACC’s 25th birthday, which officially takes place next month.
The night kicked off with a lot of energy. A video of the emcees trying to come up with a theme ended with the four of them waiting for the curtain to open at the event, which transitioned seamlessly into the curtain actually opening. This energy was represented in many of the artistic performances as well.
The show opened and closed with dance-type performances. UConn Wushu opened, a group that performed with martial arts like kung-fu and weapons in what seemed like choreographed fighting, they twirled flashy swords and snapping whips against the ground. UConn ThundeRaas closed the show with their mix of traditional garba-raas moves and contemporary moves, traditional outfits and bells. UCTR is a nationally competing team, in celebrating Gujarati culture, the group gave an impressive finale. Like each of the other performances, these groups showcased Asian culture through art.
“I think it’s important to see different cultures and support the arts,” Hartford resident Iris Wong said. Wong was in the audience to support her sister, who performed.
Fourth semester individualized major Wyveneed Francois also emphasized the importance of sharing culture at events like Asian Nite.
“It is important because everybody is different,” Francois said. “UConn needs to support and show that everybody is different.”
A number of other dance clubs and teams performed as well. The UConn Breakdancing team did an interesting play on “Avatar: the Last Airbender” by relating their dance to the four elements. The Illumin8 Dance Crew did a dance mashup which included a remix of the classic “Mulan” song “Be a Man.” An anonymous individual performed a Shadow Dance, backlit so that it was just a dancing silhouette.
UConn Surya’s bollywood fusion dance team did a number inspired by the movie “Holes,” which included a clip from the movie, orange jumpsuits and shovels, and several voiceover quotes. The JW & GED team performed several dances, some of which seemed very traditional, with fancy umbrellas and dresses, while others had more street vibes. UConn Sanskriti also performed with traditional music as well and Nicole Bi performed a solo traditional Chinese dance.
Several of the cultural Associations incorporated dances that told a story into their performances. The Nepali Students Association told a love story, the Filipino American Student Association did a performance based on a wedding and the Korean Student Association told a story about a Korean adoptee who travels to Korea to find her biological parents and learn about her heritage. The Japanese Student Association also performed a dance.
The Pi Delta Psi Asian American Fraternity mixed things up a little by performing a skit of sorts that discussed Asian American representation in pop culture by having a few members act out movie auditions for remakes of classic Asian American movies.
The Queer Asians and Allies also did something a little different by performing a spoken word poem inspired by Macklemore’s “Same Love” in which their members shared a variety of poetic pieces, including a bit of rap.
Several songs were performed as well. Xuechen Liu and Hanwen Liu performed a contemporary Chinese song and later in the evening Richmond Siu sang a contemporary song as well, prompting the audience to light the theater with their waving cellphone lights.
“It’s really nice to see them put together so many performers and groups,” eighth-semester computer science engineering major Adomous Wright said. “I think people should definitely see it at least once before they graduate.”
Alex Houdeshell is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.