Pan-Asian cultural show mixes art and awareness

BY ANDREW KLEIN

Published March 31, 2006

"We're all the same people. We believe in the universal communication of the fine arts," LSA sophomore Ben Hwang said of the significance of tomorrow night's annual GenAPA show.

Morgan Morel
Performers practice for the GenAPA show in Mason Hall. (GenAPA)

GenAPA bills itself as the country's largest pan-Asian cultural show, featuring everything from traditional Korean drumming to more contemporary hip-hop dancing. The performances begin at 7:30 p.m.

GenAPA, which stands for Generation Asian-Pacific American, is one of the most important Asian American cultural shows at the University. The event reflects the immense cultural diversity within the Asian-Pacific communities through varied artistic media.

GenAPA's goal includes the need to "overcome the walls that divide us," said Hwang, who serves as GenAPA's publicity chair. "We are striving to provide solidarity within the Asian-Pacific community."

What better way to do that than to present to the University a performance encompassing the enormous amount of talent the Asian and Pacific Islander community has to offer?

"By using lessons of the past to help us transition onto our respective new paths, we embrace our heritage, educate each other and ourselves, and strengthen our own identity," Hwang said.

There's no doubt that Saturday's performance will reflect a strong sense of diversity creatively expressed. The show is traditionally a high-energy production, and audience members should expect a sparkling combination of modern and traditional dance and music, along with as a surprise music video, Hwang said.

Some of the performing groups include Influx, a Taiwanese American Student Association dance group; Raas, a traditional Indian dance troupe; and the Korean Drum Club. Hip-hop dance group FunKtion will also be present, adding a modern spin to the event's artistic bounty.

The Multi-Cultural Greek Council is also involved in the production. Expect a solid performance from the brothers of Lambda Phi Epsilon.

"We hope to highlight our differences and similarities," Hwang said.

Students who frequent Mason Hall late at night have probably seen several of the groups practicing in the ground-floor walkway. There's a palpably festive spirit among the groups, a mounting, infectious excitement as the performance approaches.

"Each group is going to bring something extraordinary to the show," Hwang said.

It's easy to take for granted the vast number of cultural events that frequent our campus. Stop by the GenAPA performance at the illustrious Power Center this Saturday. You won't be disappointed.

GenAPA
Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
$7 in advance
$10 at the door
At the Power Center