by Smriti Vijay (’25) | March 10, 2023
Manned by the board of the International Club, a plane took off on February 24, 2023 from Saint Francis, signaling the start of the annual International Showcase. This year’s event centered on the theme of “flying around the world” and featured creative art forms from a multitude of countries. Thanks to the hard work of many Saint Francis students, guests received immaculately designed boarding passes as tickets, meant to represent the journey they were about to embark on. International Club board members Antonette Oliva (’23) and Jillian Yujuico (’23) played the part of flight attendants, providing background information about each act and its student performers.
The first stop of this journey was Mexico, where Marissa Del Rio (’23) sang two Mariachi songs, “Los Laureles” and “La Cigarra.” Freshmen Alexandra Garcia, Noah McIntosh, and Mariajosé Betancourt also performed Los Machetes, a dance from the state of Jalisco.
The flight continued onward to France, where Ajay Krishnan (’23) performed a piece of French opera, “Le Papillon et La Fleur” by composer Gabriel Fauré. Shortly afterwards, Angela Zhong (’24) and Jordyn Garcia (’23) transported the crowd to Italy, where they performed a duet of “Con te partiro,” with Zhong singing and Garcia playing the piano. While Zhong felt “nervous for any accidents or unexpected problems to occur,” she believes her “song went smoothly.”
The next destination was India, where Saint Francis students also presented a myriad of performances. Harini Sivanadh Ramadass (’26) showcased her talent through the Indian classical dance Bharatanatyam, a nod to her South Indian heritage. Ramadass noted that the solo is dedicated to the Hindu god Ganesha, a sentiment reflected by the accompanying song, “Anandha Narthana Ganapathim.”
The Fanaa Bollywood dance team then took the stage with their dancing prowess. The fifteen dancers demonstrated the traditionally energetic and multicultural nature of Bollywood dance.
Still in India, five juniors—Shreya Dusankar, Sanjana Srikanth, Lian Elsa Linton, Hoshita Undella, and Kavya Peela—performed a pan-India dance medley. They choreographed a dance to a mashup of four different Indian songs in four different Indian languages—Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi, and Telugu—demonstrating the diversity within the Indian subcontinent. Srikanth particularly appreciated the unique “opportunity to be involved in elements of [her] culture outside of [her] home setting.” Finally, aiming to spread motivation and inspiration, Vishwa Prakash (’24) rapped “Neeye Oli.”
The showcase’s focus then shifted to East and Southeast Asia. Martial Arts Club members Adarsh Gupta (’23), Nathaniel Nues (’24), Joseph Santos (’26), and Nathaniel Shih (’23) performed a demonstration of multiple martial art forms from this area, including Taekwondo, Wushu, and boxing. Afterwards, Angela Zhong (’24) returned to sing “Rong Hua,” a Chinese song about the velvet flower. Zhong hoped the audience would “remember the melodious sway of [her] chosen songs and learn something about the culture.” A fashion show came after, with Lancers donning traditional garments of Vietnamese, Filipino, Mexican, Indian, Chinese, and Ukrainian origin.
The showcase then stopped at the Philippines, where the crowd saw three acts. First, a team of twenty students danced the traditional folk dance Tinikling which features the tapping of bamboo sticks to set a rhythm. Oliva led and choreographed the dance, and they immediately followed this act with a performance of their own, singing “Sa Aking Puso,” a Filipino love song. Seniors Rachel Perez and Jillian Yujuico then sang “Kahit Ayaw Mo Na,” another love song, though one of a more heartbreaking nature.
Ultimately, the night ended with Saint Francis’s K-Pop Dance Crew, who performed a medley of eight popular K-Pop songs from various girl and boy groups. The talented group danced in homage to the cultural impact of K-Pop throughout the years on both fans and the musical world.
Even with the resounding success of the showcase, Yujuico cited some challenges that she and fellow International Showcase organizers confronted during the planning process: “We were on a time crunch, as the showcase is usually in May…so coordinating with some groups at times and getting everything done was sometimes difficult.” However, the showcase’s enthusiastic reception was a testament to the hard work of the International Club’s organizers, as performances energized participants and captivated an eager audience.
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