To celebrate its tenth anniversary, the Multicultural Center sponsored a night of student dance, music and drama Saturday. Students, faculty members and alumni crowded into Lasell to watch the performances, which were the culmination of the day’s festivities commemorating the MCC’s first decade.
The performance opened with “Rocka My Soul” a fast-paced, crowd-pleasing piece by the dance company. In long white dresses, the dancer’s energized performance enlivened the audience and established a celebratory tone for the evening. After the dance company, Prizm took the stage to perform several R&B-tinged a capella songs, including “If You Loved Me.” On a completely different note, Mandip Dhamoon ’99 played a well-received Tabla Solo entitled “Improvisation on Rupak.”
Then, in the first dramatic performance of the evening, the Asian Theater Project performed excerpts from “The Wash,” a play by Philip Kan Gotanda that the group will perform again in conjunction with Asian Awareness Month. Directed by Clare Shin ’99, the play ranged from the comic to the dramatic, as it examined the nuances of family relationships, including a family’s difficult acceptance of an interracial marriage.
Throughout the first half of the performance, the crowd continued to grow. By the time the dance company took the stage again, the bleachers were entirely full and several rows of the audience were seated on the floor directly in front of the performers. The second dance theater piece “The Monkey King” was a light-hearted romp full of leaping and scurrying. Playfully choreographed, the dancers frolicked about the stage, finally incorporating a juggling routine with bamboo poles into the dance.
As Sankofa took the stage the applause shifted from polite to thunderous. At each performance it gives, Sankofa wows its audience. Saturday was no exception. Relatively new to Williams, the step team has grown to a force of nearly twenty students. Whether performing old school or newly choreographed routines, the precision of the performance amazes. Absolutely fun-to-watch, the steppers made it clear how much they enjoy performing. When they concluded their final routine, the audience jumped to their feet in a standing ovation.
After intermission, Kusika took the stage to perform “Gota” a traditional Ewe social dance with traditional music from Ghana. Filled with hand-clapping rhythms, the Kusika performance was also a crowd-pleaser. The infectious beats of the music and the smiles of dancers reinforced the celebratory atmosphere of the night. Next, the Gypsy Melodies sang R&B inspired a capella, including “Can’t Stop.”
When the actresses from For Colored Girls by Ntozage Shange took the stage the celebratory tone of the evening was temporarily suspended. Directed by Jamilia Deria ’01, six actresses delivered monologues about an abusive relationship, handling the painful subject matter poignantly.
Returning to the light, celebratory air, the Zambezi Marimba Band entertained with traditional African music. Sunshine Wu ’99, Jeremy Wilmer, Ruko Takeuchi ’00, and Daniel Sauver ’99 played with skill during their various duets. Next, the Gospel Choir performed “Precious Lamb of God” during which the singers were joined on stage by dancers Billy Green ’02 and Tracey Jackson ’02. Their graceful performance was another of the night’s highlights. Not to be outdone, Kusika concluded the evening’s performance with a final drum song and then a final dance number. The MCC could not have chosen a better way to celebrate its tenth anniversary, as the entertaining performances were enjoyed by all those who attended.