by Justin McKinney, Staff Writer
On Tuesday November 28 the Foreign Language Department held their annual Arts Night.
Students presented poems, danced, and performed music from a foreign country/language in front of a live audience.
I myself have heard of Arts Night, but had never attended prior to this year. Students have described it as a large mix of arts from different cultures around the world, all performed by students.
But even with a relatively good description, it left so much unanswered for me, as “arts” is such a broad term.
When I walked into the CVPA auditorium I saw a crowd of people packed into the seats. I have been to many shows on campus, both variety shows such as this and plays like the Rocky Horror Picture Show, but it seemed as though the audience at this show was far more excited than at the other events I’ve been to.
As Spanish professor Marta Del Pozo introduced the first act of the show I knew I was in for a treat.
The first act was an entire class of Chinese 101 students singing a Chinese song called “Sorry My Chinese Isn’t That Good.”
I have never taken a day of Chinese in my life but, the group’s harmony was fantastic. Not only that, but you could see the genuine look of happiness on the faces of all the performers.
The crowd was also very into the performance, despite the fact that many didn’t speak or understand Chinese.
As the show carried on we saw several poems in a row, some written in Spanish, others in Portuguese.
While Del Pozo would give a little pretext on the poems, it was impossible for most like myself to understand them word for word as we didn’t speak the language it was in.
However, one does not need to know what language something is spoken in to understand emotions, and this is something the performers managed to convey amazingly.
As most of the songs and poems held a very special meaning to those performing, it was easy to see the raw and unhinged emotion they read and/or sang with.
It was moving to watch sophomore Amanda Chou read a poem in Spanish about maternity, for her mother. She spoke with both emotion and passion, and it moved me.
It was truly exciting to see so many cultures on stage, coming together for one performance.
Some who performed were from or descendants of the nation where their art was from, but many where not.
Regardless if they were or were not from the nation of origin, it was fantastic to see so many people taking in and enjoying all these new and different cultures.
When I asked Del Pozo about how she felt about bringing all these people together and hosting the show she said “I felt very proud of each and all of the participants. They were all very genuine and generous to share with the audience not only their talents but also the reasons behind their performances.”
She continued on, saying that “most pieces were a tribute to something or someone meaningful for them, and the audience could feel that emotion. I believe that beyond all our cultural idiosyncrasies there are certain things that make us all vibrate: loss, displacement, but also love and song.”
It was a truly wonderful show and all those who participated, in the audience and especially those who performed.
Arts Night is a tradition that this University and all of its staff and students should be extremely proud to have on our campus. If you missed Arts Night this year be sure to catch it next fall.
You certainly won’t regret it!