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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Lions, High Notes, and Dancing

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Lions, High Notes, and Dancing

The University of Massachusetts Boston’s chapter of the Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) hosted their annual Cultural Show in the Snowden Auditorium on Feb. 28, 2019.

Kicking off the start of the event was the lion dance. Two brightly colored red and yellow lions flared about the stage wowing the crowd. Each lion housed two performers who darted about on the stage marching in a line of two underneath the costumes. The lion dance is a traditional performance that is said to ward off bad luck and attract fortune to those viewing the show.

There was a good deal of music-centric performances with a few of them by UMass Boston students. The first musical performance to go was a trio of male singers: Quan Ho, Sammy Vo, and Timmy Huynh. The next performer up was singer Dacia Evans. She performed a cover of “All The Stars” by SZA. After her, Timmy Vo took the stage twice more; appearing for duets with Quan Ho and another time with a female singer by the name of My Ngan. Dancing was also a major component of the performances. Hoy Pinoy, the Filipino student club, was the first movement act to come on the stage with a traditional dance called the La Jota, which was pioneered in Spain then cultivated in the Philippines. UMass Boston’s own all-femme dance group, MARX, took to the stage with a three-song dance routine. After MARX the Northern VSA dance team came through to show their routine as well. Even though the dancers were from another school, they still came to show their support and talent.

In between performances there was a short film shown that was shot, acted, and directed by VSA members and their associates and with a majority of its scenes shot at different places. The film served as a comedic relief to the crowd as they watched their friends and classmates display their acting chops before them, at times yelling out their names or lightheartedly mocking the last word said. The film depicted an Asian-American college student struggling with his coursework and suffering from a strained relationship with his parents. When he hears about the VSA student space and learns about some of the resources it had to offer from his friends he feels more motivated to tackle his issues knowing that he has the support of his VSA family, and in the end he is at last able to patch things up with his family and even finds some links to them through culture.

From the performances there was a sly transition to a fashion show in which many traditional and nontraditional modern garments were on display, one of which being Ao Dai, a traditional Vietnamese garment that can be worn by both women and men. Participating in the fashion show were many VSA members and many of the performers came back onto the stage to join in on the display of style.

After the main portion of the event, members of the VSA’s E-board came up to the stage to say what the VSA meant to them; what followed were a couple of heartfelt and tender testimonies about the experiences they had in the club. Theresa Tran, a former President of the VSA, was feeling emotional with the knowledge that after her graduation in May she would not be so close to UMass Boston’s VSA activities anymore. She also shared her hopes for the future of the Association. Tran retired from her position as president toward the beginning half of last year and she was replaced with Richie Nguyen, who also made a brief statement regarding his hopes for future events.

David Ho, vice president of VSA, gave a short interview to give some insight to the event. He said that the show was the culmination of over six months of planning and logistics and that one of the main focuses of the event was the integration of other cultures.