Unlike previous years, this year’s iTalent and iFashion Show paraded a more creative set of talent and traditional costumes as part of the International Festival (iFest). The student-organized event included a performance of the guzheng, a traditional 18-string Chinese instrument and a Filipino bamboo folk dance.
Clint Yoo ’14 sang an emotional cover of the popular Korean hit “What If” by Girl’s Generation. Yoo’s performance captured the reminiscent and heartbreaking message of the song. As he reached for the high-pitched notes, his vibrato crescendoed to a full, dramatic intensity. Although many of the audience members did not speak Korean, the audience appeared fully engaged by the performance.
Taking a different turn from a number of instrumental and vocal performances, members of Southeast Asian (SEA) Club then appeared on the stage carrying eight-foot-long bamboo poles.
Dressed in brightly colored garments, the bamboo tappers lowered the poles to theground and started sliding and beating the poles together to create loud, ringing beats. As the tappers continued to hit the poles together, a pair of dancers jumped in and out the spaces between the bamboo poles. At the end, the dancers invited audience members onto the stage to try and learn the dance.
The talent show shifted into the fashion show as models dressed in traditional garments walked up the stage. Countries represented this year included Bahrain, Bhutan, the Dominican Republic and Saudi Arabia. As the models said greetings in their countries’ official languages and modeled their clothing, the MCs, Paulina Munn ’14 and Ben Yi ’14, presented fun facts about different countries.
Representing Saudi Arabia, Sophie Smith ’17 dressed in a black burqa, a customary piece of clothing with a face-veil worn by many women of the Islamic tradition.
“Muslims wear [the burqa] because there are quotes in the Qur’an instructing believing women to cover themselves. Often times, fathers or husbands are in control of whether or not the women have to cover and how much, and this may contribute to the male-dominated culture in Saudi,” said Smith.
“I really like how we could experience all of the diverse cultures at one place. I really liked the fashion show because all of their traditional clothes were so pretty and unique. I expected the talent and fashion show to be more of a concert, but this was much better. I liked it because it was friendlier than I had expected,” said Christine You ’16.