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Students celebrate Asiatic culture

CHRISTIAN MYERS | Friday, November 8, 2013

 

Students will celebrate Asiatic culture and traditions Saturday during Asian Allure: Speak, a show that has continued for more than a decade. Senior Ryan Gonzales said this event is important for students who participate in the show and for the University community as a whole.

“It’s not often that we get to express our culture in this way, so it’s a great thing for cast members to participate in and for the University to experience,” Gonzales said.

This year’s show is titled “Asian Allure: Speak.” It will be held today at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 4 p.m. in Washington Hall and is approximately two hours long. Gonzales said the show will feature performances from various campus groups under the umbrella of the Asian American Association (AAA), including the newly added Tae Kwon Do club.

This year’s Asian Allure will differ from shows in years past in its focus on skits and emphasis on tradition, Gonzales said.

The focus on skits involves expanding the number and lengths of the skits and eliminating the fashion show and musical performances, leaving the skits and dance performances as the show’s core, Gonzales said. 

Gonzales said in the past skits served as a transition between other performances, but will now act as the centerpiece of the show.

“This year the skits are holding the weight of the show, the message of the show,” he said.

The emphasis on tradition is a departure from past shows that sought to incorporate modern performance styles with traditional styles, Gonzales said.

“Compared to years before, we are placing a particular value on tradition,” he said. “Other directors blended the modern and the traditional, but this year we’re placing a value on tradition and remembering where we came from.”

This emphasis is reflected in the name of this year’s show, ‘Speak,’ Gonzales said.

“What’s important is speaking the languages of the cultures,” he said.  Language carries with it the culture and history of our past. When we speak we remember, and if we speak we won’t forget.”

Gonzales said Asian Allure is the biggest fall event for the AAA and Asian Allure: Speak has a cast of more than 80 students. The show and the general rehearsals that take place for a week before the show provide those in different clubs a chance to get to know each other, he said.

“It’s a great opportunity for clubs to come together, meet each other and learn about different cultures they wouldn’t otherwise learn about,” Gonzales said.

The event also helps to represent the level of diversity on campus, Gonzales said.

“You can see [Asian Allure] as a service to the University,” he said.  “It’s a reality that there isn’t enough racial diversity at Notre Dame to accurately represent the country we live in. Asian Allure is a great display of the cultural diversity that is on campus.”

Gonzales, who wrote two skits for the show himself, said he has wanted to direct the show since his sophomore year because of his interests in drama and storytelling.

“I really like theatre and dance, but more than those two things I love telling stories,” Gonzales said. 

Contact Christian Myers at cmyers8@nd.edu