Kate Koenig, Editor-in-Chief
The first annual Global Movement Festival was held yesterday in the Hunt Union Ballroom. Featuring musical and dance performances by the World Percussion Ensemble, a musical performance by third grade students from the local Riverside Elementary school, an international fashion show and more, from 6 to 9 p.m. the Ballroom was a center of multicultural activity.
The festival, which was hosted by Dr. Julie Licata of the music department and Mifuyu Otsuka, president of the Japanese Society for All, was a collaboration of contributions from the performers as well as the multicultural student clubs on campus, and the Multicultural Student Council, who also were responsible for the hosting of the event along with the World Percussion Ensemble.
Clubs present included the Korean Cultural Club, the Ninash Foundation, the Muslim Student Association, Brothers and Sisters in Christ (BASIC), representatives from the African American Latino Asian Native American (AALANA) Mentor Program, the JSA and the Photo Institution. A table was also set up by Riverside Elementary to accept donations for Home for Hope, an orphanage in Asebu, Ghana.
Throughout the event, food from a variety of different cultures was served. There was Italian cheesy flat bread, Jewish challah crowns and matzoh ball soup, Dominican flan, Indian samosas, and Greek baklava.
During the musical performances, which began at 6:30 and were concluded by 9, those in attendance were not required to remain silent and seated as they would for a formal performance, yet many did nonetheless.
The live music for the night was bookended by performances by the World Percussion Ensemble who performed with the style and instrumentation of a Balinese gamelan, or an ensemble from Indonesia featuring a variety of instruments. These made for unique openings and conclusions to the event, with the performers seated on the stage with a variety of metallophones, or instruments with tuned metal bars, and a gong. Both their opening and ending performances captivated the entire Ballroom. The World Dance Class performed to music from different cultures as well, dancing a Ghanaian highlife, Italian tarantella and Philippine tinikling.
Performances also included Ken Sider’s third grade class from Riverside Elementary. The students were spread across the stage each with their own individual drum, wearing the colors of the Ghanaian flag (red, yellow and green). Afterwards, the children handed flyers out to audience members with information on the Home for Hope orphanage.
An especially exciting moment of the festival was the international fashion show, hosted by the Office of International Education. With conventional pounding-bass fashion show music in the background, students showcased clothing from a variety of cultures. Otsuka participated, dressed in traditional Scottish garb. Students Jeff Sullivan and Yukiyo Masuda wore a Korean military outfit and a dress in the style of Spanish flamenco dancers, respectively. After the presentation, the students mingled with the audience so that the colorful and diverse styles remained on continuous display for the duration of the event.
Prof. Jeremy Wall from the music department, whose “Songs of Peace” was performed on campus last semester, was excited to attend: “It’s great to see so many different international cultures represented here at Oneonta, and it’s always a pleasure to hear the World Percussion Ensemble. How exciting it is to add to all the styles of music that they play, that they’re now playing Balinese music.”
Otsuka was thrilled by the turnout: “This has what I’ve been dreaming to see on this campus, and there are so many people from so many clubs, groups, even from town… There’s an atmosphere of unity.” He also expressed his hopes for the event to be continued next year, thinking that maybe it can grow to include even more people.
Donations of both nonperishable food items and non-food items were accepted from students in exchange the food served, and 100 percent of the donations will be given to the Riverside Elementary Food Pantry.