International Night brings cultures together at RM

International+Night+brings+cultures+together+at+RM

Jennifer Li

Flags from the United States, South Korea, Brazil, China, Argentina, and many more waved in the background as the lights dimmed and the light chatter of the audience faded away. Dancers and performers in colorful costumes floated across the stage. Cultural music played, and the audience began to clap in response to the exciting beat.

International Night took place at RM on Friday, December 9. The night featured a round of festive performances onstage, followed by refreshments in the cafeteria.

Many students thought the night was a really nice way to end the week. “I really liked seeing the dances and performances,” freshman Kate Chen said.

One of the notable performances was the Latin partner dance. Four couples, dressed in complementary shades of maroon and black, with flags painted on their faces, danced to a blend of different styles of Latin music. While their dance carried a thread of similar moves, they incorporated various Latin dances to add a distinct flavor to their performance. “The dancing and people were really fun,” said junior Cameron Klick, who participated in the dance.

Senior Marcus Suzuki of the Break Dance Club thought that the event bonded people. “Dancing and singing; music is the one thing that’s shared in all cultures, so it really does bring us together.” Suzuki took part in a lively breakdancing performance that featured the team’s skills, which along with the upbeat music, really engaged the audience. Dressed in all-black attire with face masks, Suzuki and the other breakdancers aimed to create the image of a ninja.

The Dance Club also had a successful performance, which featured dances to the classic pop songs “La La La,” by Naughty Boy, and “Whatta Man,” by Salt-N-Pepa. The more mainstream music was a fitting end to the show, as it was most familiar to the majority of the audience.

The Dance Club performs at International Night.
The Dance Club performs at International Night.

Sophomore Nicole Estrera of the Dance Club thought the International Night performances were a chance for the performers to get to know each other better. “We connect a lot because it’s dance-related,” she said, referring to how the Dance Club and Break Dance Club connected throughout the rehearsals and the performance night.

Many of the evening’s performances revolved around dance. The Latin Zumba Dance, the Chinese Passionate Petals Dance, and the Bolivian Warrior Dance were also featured on International Night. Suzuki emphasized the importance of these dances. “Seeing them live is really different from watching videos,” he commented. “You’re in that moment. You’re in the real music.”

There were also many enjoyable acts other than the dances, including a performance of the Bengali Song, the Chinese yo-yo, and a rendition of the Chinese song, “Little Red Apple.”

Following the performances, volunteers served a variety of foods inside the cafeteria. People of different cultures could indulge in an aspect of life shared by everyone: food. Posters and presentations, as well as prepared dishes of food, were set up on a series of tables. The Chinese Honor Society presented Chinese snacks, and others also served Indian curry and Ethiopian food. As they walked around, performers and audience members alike could not only taste new flavors, but they could also bond over their shared experiences.

Multiple people found the food to be an integral part of International Night. “I’m really looking forward to seeing the performances, and eating the food, and it seems like a wonderful, happy experience,” said Ms. Shaw, who volunteered at the event. Along with the performances, the food allowed people to share their own culture and learn about the cultures of others.

Unfortunately, there were not as many people who attended International Night as hoped. Many believed that International Night could have a bigger impact if more people came to the event. “I think not a lot of people actually show up, so I think that if it was publicized more, then it would bring up a lot more people,” said a junior audience member, who asked to remain anonymous.

RM principal Damon Monteleone agreed that more publicity could benefit International Night. “It does bring together RM as a community, but a little bit more of in a limited way. I just think it has such potential and a rich, wonderful foundation,” Mr. Monteleone said. “It would be great if we could promote it and have more people exposed to it.”