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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Inter-fashional

 
 

The lights dim and silence falls over the audience. A shriek escapes from the back of the theater, and dark figures begin to creep down the aisles. As the monsters slink onto Rudder Theater’s stage, a slow drumbeat begins, escalating into a frenzy. The mysterious features of the monsters are revealed as devils.
This performance, “The Dancing Devils of Yare,” brought the first half of the I-Show dance competition to a close Wednesday night. I-Show combined with the I-Fashion apparel show and I-Win award session is part of International Week, a large scale event intended to showcase diversity on campus.
Thaida Garcia, sophomore history major and a participant in the Venezuelan devil routine, said the dance has cultural significance.
“We wanted to try something more traditional something that’s not known to everyone and unique to Venezuela, she said.
Garcia said the performance is traditionally performed nine days after Holy Thursday, to highlight the importance of repentance in the Catholic faith.
Brijesh Angira, president of the International Students Association, said Wednesdays programs form an integral part of I-Week.
“I-Show and I-Fashion are signature events of I-Week, Angira said. I-Show is a talent show, which is culture specific. Its a beautiful depiction of dance, culture, art and traditional outfits of different countries.”
Thirty students participated in this year’s I-Show, Angira said. Their outfits varied widely in color, fabric material and complexity. Two girls dressed in bouncing feathers represented Colombia, while a another walked for Thailand in a sapphire blue dress with gold facial jewelry.
Nations represented during I-Show included India, the Philippines, Venezuela, Colombia, Palestine, Venezuela, Mexico and Panama. Soon after, male and female models strutted across the stage for I-Fashion representing India, Russia, Nepal, Honduras and others.
Shweta Rathi, president of India Association, said she particularly enjoyed the Indian Bhangra routine her organization performed. This upbeat dance style was combined with a more methodical dance that focuses on gestures and facial expressions called the Bharatnatyam, she said.
These two dances are very unlike each other, Rathi said, I feel like this performance brings two different sides of India together. India isnt just one thing. Its a mixture of both.
Winners for the night included India Association for greatest overall involvement, “The Dancing Devils of Yare” for best in I-Show and the Honduran Student Association for I-Exhibit. A male-female pair representing India clinched first place in I-Fashion.
In contrast to India Association’s award-winning enthusiasm, participation among some other student cultures was minimal.
Wafi Alzawad, a junior electrical engineering major, said he had hoped to see more Arab international students on stage.
“I saw two models in the fashion show, one from Tunisia and one from Egypt,” said Alzawad, a Saudi Arabian international student. “That is not the Middle East, though. There were not representatives of the Arabian culture.”
Alzawad did, however, say he enjoyed the elaborate dance performances by A&M’s Venezuelan and India students. Low representation of his own culture might prompt him to volunteer for I-Show and I-Fashion next year, he said.
At the end of the program, emcees acknowledged Student Body President John Claybrook for his support of the International Student Association.
“John Claybrook is one of the humblest student leaders I ever met, Angira said. He has always supported international students in our student body.
Though Claybrook was not present to accept the award in person, he will receive a plaque at a later time, Angira said.

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