As the lights dimmed in Kemper Auditorium, Natalia Suarez ’17 pretended to slap Teymour Farman-Farmaian ’17, beginning their Chinese 420 class’s performance in the Chinese New Year Talent Show. Later, Jocelyn Shen ’18 started singing to Wanting Qu’s “You Exist in My Song,” with Ben Zhang ’17 playing the piano and Brett Sawka ’17 playing the bass.
Shen, a student in Chinese 420, said, “My friend showed [‘You Exist in My Song’] to me… although no one practiced, it was fun to be part of [the act], and it was definitely nice for all of us to come and celebrate Chinese New Year, especially since a lot of us are actually Chinese and didn’t get to celebrate with our families.”
In celebration of Chinese New Year this week, the Chinese Language Club hosted a talent show for all students taking Chinese at Andover. The Talent Show consisted of 13 acts ranging from dance performances to a mock cooking show.
“I think it’s just a fun time for the department to be together, especially for young students who are new to the department or to the school. It’s a way for the entire department to be together, and they can see who else takes Chinese. It builds a community,” said Lilia Cai-Hurteau, Instructor in Chinese.
Forming two rows on stage, a Chinese 520 class performed Chinese morning exercises. The class walked in place and imitated various arm motions from the video projected behind them, which displayed three women performing the exercises while marching-band music blared in the background.
“We chose our song because our class had a lot of people who went on the [BASK in ASK program, a summer program that focuses on environmental issues,] last summer [who] remembered doing Chinese morning exercises. Overall, I think the performance was a lot of fun, and it was a nice change from the usual Chinese curriculum,” said Jackson Lee ’17, a Chinese 520 student.
A different Chinese 420 class formed a line across the stage. As the Chinese pop music began playing, Paloma Blandon ’17 stepped out of the line, rapping to Wang Leehom’s “12 Zodiacs” before passing the microphone down the line of students.
“I think the talent show went well and was a fun way to learn more about Chinese culture, through song and dance as opposed to speaking. We chose our song largely because [our teacher] suggested it, but we [had fun] learning the lyrics and dance on our own,” said Blandon.
A Chinese 320 class performed a dance portraying zodiac animals. Accompanied with a video in the background projecting Chinese kids listing zodiac animals, Ale Macaya ’18 sang a solo while the rest of the class walked around the stage imitating tigers.
“In a classroom setting, we don’t get to communicate together that much, so I thought it was really fun to see everyone having fun outside the classroom and working together to prepare a fun dance,” said Macaya.
A Chinese 620 class projected a video of a mock Masterchef trailer as their performance. One cooking team consisting of Valerie Zhang ’17 and Matthew Tai ’18, sabotaged the other cooking team’s food, causing the two judges, Sewon Park ’17 and Stephen Min ’17, to dislike the second team’s dish. When the judges tasted Zhang and Tai’s dish, however, they also disliked it.
“We thought [the video] would be different from the other classes’ performances because it was a skit instead of a song,” said Sean Hawkins ’16, a student in the class. “It was fun to make… we just ended up just ordering a bunch of Chinese food and having a party while filming [the video].”
Marcello Rossi ’16, a MC of the show, said, “This is my fourth year taking Chinese at Andover and the Talent Show is always a fun highlight. Watching your friends and fellow classmates sing onstage in a foreign language is amusing, but I think everyone is supportive and there is a fun spirit surrounding the event.”
Editor’s note: Sewon Park is a Commentary Editor for The Phillipian.