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Cultural event celebrates world art, languages

KATHRYN MARSHALL | Wednesday, November 20, 2013

 

Saint Mary’s students experienced “Arts Around the World,” a student variety show of music and dance performances Tuesday night.

The program, as part of International Week at the College, took place in Little Theatre at the Moreau Center for the Arts. 

Professor Marianne Hahn, lecturer in French and German, said the event gives expression to the cultures represented in the modern languages department.

“[The event] brings all the languages taught in the [modern languages] department together outside of the classroom in a different context,” Hahn said. 

Hahn said she created the “Arts Around the World” show for the modern languages department eight years ago after her students inspired her. 

“I was amazed at the talent my students had, and wanted to share this talent with the rest of the school,” Hahn said.

The event originally featured music by famous composers, and then adopted other art forms, such as dance, in order to “embrace more than music,” professor Jennifer Zachman, chair of the modern languages department, said. 

This year’s program incorporated music from Germany, Austria, China, France, Spain, Ireland and Italy, as well as dance, instrumental music and singing. 

One performer, first year Yaqi Song, played a piece on the guzheng, a traditional Chinese stringed instrument. Song said she has been playing the guzheng since she was five and considers it an honor to share traditional Chinese music with her peers.

Some of the other performances included first years Mary Margaret Canady and Erin Hart dancing an Irish Treble reel, junior Victoria Connelly singing Italian composer Henri Duparc’s “Chanson Triste” and a five-person ballet performed to German composer Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Air on the G String.”

which was choreographed by dance professor Laurie Lowry. 

Associate professor of music Laurel Thomas, who worked with several of the performing sopranos, said the event was an opportunity to understand that “there’s a special beauty in every nation’s art.”

Students also had exposure to international foods, such as French cheese and German chocolate, at the reception. 

The event was sponsored by the Saint Mary’s Modern Languages Department, Sodexo, the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership, the Music Department, Communication Studies and the Dance and Theatre Department. 

Contact Kathryn Marshall at kmarsh02@saintmarys.edu