On Nov. 11, and Nov. 12, Washington Hall came alive with the stories, sights and sounds of Asian culture as groups representing Korea, China, Vietnam, Japan, India and the Philippines took to the stage.
This year’s Asian Allure, titled “Writing Your Story,” featured everything from skits, a kung fu demonstration and a fashion show to personal monologues discussing American and Asian culture. Bollywood-style dancers and modern hip-hop teams alike graced the stage. Musicians showcased their talents with both Western and traditional Asian instruments, including the flute, erhu, piano, guitar, bandurria, and more.
The tech team made incredible use of media, projecting everything from Chinese folklore to Studio Ghibli stills onto a screen for all to see. “My favorite acts are Vietnamese Cinderella, Sarung Banggi [a Filipino folk melody] and Kung Fu Club,” said freshman Yiman Wang after the performance.
Asian Allure brought enjoyment not only to its audience, but to its performers and crew. “I love this show because it’s about sharing one’s identity,” said freshman actress Emily Luong, who played Cám, the evil stepsister, in Vietnamese Cinderella. “Whether through culture, a personal story or something you love, like singing, dancing or playing an instrument.”
Indeed, the most incredible part of the two-hour spectacle was not any one act alone, but the union of every act into one cohesive story. The mood of the performances ranged from celebratory to reverent and from playful to nostalgic, but through every act ran a message of hope and joy. Asian Allure celebrates the unique identity of each culture involved, all while uniting these cultures under a common cultural and emotional heritage. Every human being experiences both joyous and bittersweet aspects of life, and we can all benefit from viewing different cultures’ interpretations of these universal emotions. Nothing exemplifies this idea better than Asian Allure.
*The views of this author are not necesarily the views of Scholastic magazine.