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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Lunar New Year performance draws large crowd

Published: February 7, 2014
Section: Arts, Etc., Featured

Last Friday, the Brandeis Chinese Cultural Connection (BC3) hosted a celebration of the new Lunar New Year, welcoming the Year of the Horse with a host of student performances and showcases. Featuring nine parts and two videos celebrating the hard-working board members of BC3, the celebration drew laughs and cheers from the crowd of nearly 100 students gathered in Levin Ballroom.

After the introductory video, the celebration officially began with a traditional Chinese dragon line dance, performed by students from Boston-based Calvin Chin’s Martial Arts Academy. The dance was followed by a series of short martial arts exhibitions by the students, after which the show was taken over by Brandeis students.

The first performance, titled “What Does the Handsome Say,” featured a group of students starting out with dances choreographed to traditional Chinese songs before launching into a parody of the YouTube hit “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say)” and other pop songs. Next up were two first-year singing groups, featuring two duets each singing a popular ballad, accompanied by the swinging cell phones of the audience.

Two pianos and players took the stage next and dueled each other with classical pieces and improvisation. While the performance began with one pianist at each instrument, each player was eventually joined by a partner for a duet, creating a whirlwind of notes and amazing chemistry and musicianship. The first half of the celebration finished with a showcase of Chinese fashion’s past decade, with students modeling modern and traditional designs, as well as original mixes of the two.

When the crowd reformed following the intermission, three students, two vocalists and an acoustic guitarist, took the stage for the band performance. Though the full band was not present because of unspecified “flight problems,” the unplugged act wowed the audience with an intensely personal performance of a Chinese radio hit and an original song.
Next came two representatives from FotoDish, an app-based service designed around showing pictures of the most popular dishes from restaurants, so that customers can identify exactly what their food will look like before they order. The service’s representatives projected pictures of food from local Waltham restaurants and asked students to guess which restaurant each meal originated from. Successful guesses were rewarded with gift cards to to the chosen restaurants and other venues.

The show then turned its focus to a student-produced drama “Odysseus’ Comeback,” starring students in full costume and armed with all kinds of props. A parody story, the short play centered around the Greek hero’s return to his home after his odyssey around the world, only to find that a host of zany suitors are trying to kill him and steal his beautiful wife. Battling his way through pop-culture references, insult comedy and a rap battle, Odysseus and his family are reunited, but not before the audience was laughing.

BC3 ended the celebration with two musical acts. The first was a female student duet group that sang two Chinese ballads, fighting past bad microphones to deliver, nevertheless, a great performance. The final act was a series of well-choreographed dances to radio pop songs, both Chinese and Western, that culminated in the various smaller groups joining together for a grand finale. After BC3’s graduating senior members were honored with a heartfelt video, the spectacular show ended, and the very entertained audience enjoyed free Chinese food for dinner.