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Asian Allure to host annual show

Molly Madden | Friday, November 13, 2009

Live from Asia, it’s Saturday night!

This year’s Asian Allure is based on Saturday Night Live (SNL) with an Asian twist, Holy Cross College senior Anthony Suh, the executive producer and director of the show, said.

The Asian American Association is hoping to bring a greater understanding of Asian culture to the Notre Dame community with its signature event, Asian Allure Live, which takes place Friday and Saturday in Washington Hall, senior Kristine Yuen, president of the Asian American Association said.

Suh said the “Live” theme this year is associated with SNL and was intentionally chosen to move away from the themes of past shows, which were more focused on Asian identity at Notre Dame.

“We picked a familiar theme so that the audience can relate more to the show,” he said. “We’re doing comedy this year, which is new for us but we wanted to make the audience laugh.”

Suh said the show copies famous SNL skits but with an Asian theme, all in an attempt to make the show more about contemporary culture views.

Asian Allure is a night of song, dance, performance pieces and cultural significance, she said.

“It’s a time for the Asian American cultures on campus to celebrate their culture but it’s also a way to educate other students,” Yuen said. “It’s more or less a talent show but it shows people who we are in a simplistic manner.”

The production incorporates all of the various Asian clubs and organizations on campus. There are 200 students working on the show, which features 16 different performances from the different clubs, Yuen said.

“Asian Allure is a significant piece of the Notre Dame community because it demonstrates both the beauty of several Asian American nationalities represented on campus and the talent of many Notre Dame students,” senior Christian Chan, a performer in the show said. “The show allows us to share how proud we are of our roots and the culture that we share.”

The event is in its 13th year at Notre Dame and has evolved since its debut over a decade ago.

“When Asian Allure first debuted it was originally a fashion show,” Suh said. “Since then it has evolved into a display of culture that shows the Notre Dame community the diversity that exists on campus.”

Chan said Asian Allure is a great way to show the diversity that exists at Notre Dame.

“As the University hopes to embody an atmosphere of diversity, this is one step in opening the community to other cultures with an enjoyable and exciting twist,” he said.

Originally, the show was more about the traditions of the various Asian cultures that it featured. But Yuen and Suh said they are trying to make the show feature more modern aspects of the respective cultures that are being represented. 

“Tradition is always very important to us,” Suh said. “It’s a key to who we are but we want to show other sides of ourselves too.”

Yuen said the incorporation of a more modern view had a lot to do with the nature of the audience.

“It’s always important to see the modern aspects of any culture,” she said. “We are aware of the traditional and we adapt it into a modern stance for the audience. We want the audience see a balance between ‘Asianess’ and ‘Americaness.'”

But not only Asian students are involved in Asian Allure or the Asian student clubs. The show made a point to show a large range of diversity, Suh said. Within the show there are white, black and Hispanic performers. These participants are also very active in the Asian American Association.

“This is not an exclusive event and our clubs are not exclusive,” Yuen said. “Asian Allure gives people the opportunity for people to learn about very diverse groups here on campus, so we incorporate other people as well.”

Yuen said that the underlying mission of Asian Allure is to encourage all students to celebrate their different cultures.

“We want to encourage awareness of cultures through entertaining people rather than a classroom setting,” she said. “You should always take the opportunity to celebrate who you are.”