On Saturday April 13th, Gaston Hall was the only place to be on campus! The Asian American Student Association (AASA) held their cultural showcase, Asiafest, and it was definitely a night to remember. The theme for the night was “ The Breakthrough”, and the aim was to demolish ignorance and stereotypes, forging friendship and unity instead, and bringing a taste of the immense beauty Asian culture has to offer.
The hosts Darshana Prakasam and Zohaib Khalid, members of Georgetown’s South Asian comedy troupe, GU Awaaz kept the audience laughing right from the beginning of the show. With their hilarious banter and cultural references, they helped the program to run smoothly and kept the energy up throughout.
The show kicked off to a thrilling start with a demonstration from the GU Taekwando Club. Their performance brought together an interesting fusion of the Star Spangled Banner, impressive martial arts moves and Gangnam style all wrapped up into one entertaining package. The next group switched gears completely, bringing us a sizzling Latin dance Saigon-style. Students of the Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) dazzled the audience with their provocative tango choreography set to Vietnamese music. The dancers held a few surprises, including the incorporation of the traditional Vietnamese fan dance, adding some authentic flair.
The night was packed with numerous other dance performances, including the Korean Student Association’s “Georgetown Generation” dancing to the latest chart-toppers from the K-pop scene. The dancers were full of attitude and sass with killer choreography from Mary Lim, Jessica Yun and Janet Kim. The Japan Network (J-NET) stormed Gaston with their trendy outfits and bold moves inspired by Japanese artists Miura Daichi and Amuro Namie. Flip Dis Funk Dat also brought tons of energy to the stage with a very enjoyable piece that combined edgy hip hop moves with traditional Filipino steps.
Dance was definitely a strong thread that held the show together, as the audience was treated to Mina Pollman who mounted a solo lyrical dance choreographed by Diedre Sakota accompanied by the Japanese song “Faraway” by KAT—TUN. She captivated her audience with her poise and her graceful movements. The audience was also afforded the privilege of watching some traditional dance performances alongside the more modern displays. The lovely Kalia Vang gave us a glimpse into a culture a lot of people rarely get to partake in with a traditional Hmong dance. Her intricate costume and precise movements stunned the audience and left them wanting more. Club Filipino performed a riveting piece, the Makatod dance which told a story of a prince and his subjects.
Another element that thrilled the audience was the spoken word piece “Facebook Message to my Little Sister” performed by Dale Andrew Batoon. The power and passion in his delivery froze the audience members in their seats and took everyone by surprise especially after his exciting rap introduction.
Both Salmunori, a traditional Korean percussion performance and GU Bindaas, a hip-hop Bollywood fusion ensemble hit the stage with a bang, bringing an insane amount of energy and excitement to the house. While Samulnori surprised us with their entrance from the upper levels of the house, GU Bindaas had the audience at rapt attention with their big smiles and their vivacious moves that tempted audience members to get up and dance with them.
In addition, there was no shortage of musical talent throughout the night. Peter Park and Hayoung Shin, introduced by the MCs as “the cutest couple on campus” serenaded the attendees with their sweet melodies, and their simple, endearing and relatable lyrics; leaving the house with a resounding “Awwwww” at the end of their rendition of the songs “Nobody” and “I’m in love”. Triple threat Peter Park (who also appeared in KSA’s Georgetown Generation and Samulnori), lent his smooth guitar playing skills to the duet “Still in Love With You/ Yi Ran Ai Ni” performed by Christopher Wing and Yanpei Huang. With his performance of “Back to You/Na Doraga” by JYP, Hyunkoo Jo aka Soul Q tugged at our heartstrings with this touching song and beautiful piano accompaniment about loss and heartbreak.
Clearly, Asiafest was an event not to be missed and what’s more, the audience wasn’t sent home empty-handed. Each attendee left with a one-month free trial subscription to DramaFever, an online TV website. Some were lucky to go home with some free snacks and yearlong DramaFever subscriptions won in the trivia competition held during the intermission. The night was a kaleidoscope of Asian culture and entertainment, and a great contribution to Georgetown’s cultural landscape. Kudos to the Programming Committee and Executive board for orchestrating this amazing event. Mark your calendars for next year folks!
Zoe Gadegbeku, Editor in Chief