At this year’s International Student Food, Song and Dance Festival inside the Jordan Ballroom in the SUB, national flags from all of the different countries being represented hung from the ceilings.
Festive balloons lined the edge of the stage and a large poster commemorating the event was posted on top of the curtains. People of Indian, Middle Eastern, African and Asian heritage walked around. Indian Bollywood-style music blared in the
After most of the attendees were seated, the lights went down and two hosts came out to introduce the organizers and upcoming acts.
To kick off the evening, a flag procession established all of the different countries being represented there that night; Georgian, Saudi Arabian, Venezuelan, Colombian, French, German, South Korean, Brazilian, Nepalese, Japanese, Taiwanese and Chinese nationalities were all represented at the ceremony.
The first act was a Napalese singer and engineering major named Sarthac Kc, who performed a heartfelt acoustic rendition of Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back” and then one of his own songs. A right mix of performance material and technical capability, Sarthac started the Festival off warmly.
Next up was a group of Saudi Arabians performing one of their traditional dances with stick-like things in their hands.
It seemed like the audience had just as much fun watching it as the Saudis did performing it.
Other acts included a salsa dance of Cuban origin, a Brazilian “capoeria” (a mix of what looked like karate and yoga where a few of the dancers did cartwheels and backflips) and another acoustic performance by a man named Aziz, who sang his original song “Trouble” with soaring vocals.
Finally, it was time for dinner.
The main course was lamb prepared a Saudi Arabian way and different kinds of rice and vegetables, including cold Japanese spinach.
There was plenty of food to go around.
The highlight of the evening came while everyone was chowing down.
The Aztec Dance which was previously scheduled for later in the program announced itself with a horn-like blast of seashell.
Colorful costumes and headdresses lent a huge amount of authenticity to the proceedings, and the chanting, yelps and heavy percussion accompanying the dance seemed straight out of a Hollywood movie.
Festival director Abdullah Alalhareth explained it took “just one month” to coordinate the events of the night and his favorite part was “seeing the smiles on the audience’s faces during the performances.”
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