The Osterhout Concert Theater was brimming with energy on Saturday night as the Asian Student Union (ASU) hosted Asian Night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., where seven different subgroups performed alongside individual performers like YouTube-famous artist Albert Posis.
While the show primarily focused on the cultures of the different groups represented, it also carried a unifying theme of “Bubbles.”
Prior to the event, Michael Messina, president of the ASU and a junior majoring in physics, said the theme tackled social and cultural barriers.
“The theme of ‘Bubbles’ is talking about the different kinds of social and cultural bubbles we make for ourselves, and the good things that can come about with that as well as the dangers that can come with that,” Messina said. “We’re incorporating it through some of our performances, who have really taken it to heart. We’re also developing a skit that we are going to be performing as a storyline between each performance throughout the night, and that will grapple the themes of having bubbles and breaking away from bubbles. It’s about two people working in a bubble tea shop and they have to learn how to work together. How to both respect bubbles as well as how to break away from their bubbles in order to work together and save their tea shop.”
Jia He, a member of the the Chinese American Student Union (CASU) and an undeclared sophomore, said the event showcased different Asian cultures and backgrounds through choreography and performances.
“I think that’s the purpose of [ASU], because I think being Asian means coming from a lot of different cultures and races, and each of us have our own different background that we grew up with,” he said. “Being able to showcase and focus on that is very important, but also being able to support each other’s culture and showcasing it together, that’s what makes it really great.”
The performances were purposefully diverse, as the ASU wanted to avoid an overuse of singers and dancers, according to Messina.
“We want as diverse of a lineup as possible,” he said. “We don’t want to have just singers or just dancers, so we might go into fight choreography [chanbara]. We also went into different kinds of modern step dance twists on classic traditional Chinese dances.”
Chanbara, also known as fight choreography, was performed onstage and accompanied by a backstory via video.
ASU was able to showcase several different facets of Asian cultures and the differences between each culture, according to He.
“This performance for us is a showcase of Chinese culture, especially the fan dance from China,” he said. “It’s just to represent our culture and show it off to the whole school, because our fan dance is different from the Vietnamese Student Association and the Taiwanese American Student Coalition. Our fan dance is different from theirs because of our Chinese culture. Being part of Asian Night, it’s important to showcase and represent the Chinese American student body.”
Other performers included Katie Lhungay, senior adviser for the ASU and a senior majoring in political science, who sang two songs, and Skylar Lai, a sophomore majoring in biology, who also sang. There were also high-profile performances by Darren Fugu Yu, a beatboxer known as “Ghost,” and guest performer Posis. Posis, a Filipino American artist, is well known on YouTube with 120,000 subscribers, and his track “Everlasting” has 8.5 million views.
Joshua Yam, a sophomore majoring in biology, was especially fond of the performances by Lhungay and Posis.
“It was fantastic,” Yam said. “It was wonderful seeing all of the ASU subgroups performing and presenting a portion of their culture, along with Albert Posis, who is a valid singer. He has a great voice, [you] should listen to him on Spotify. Katie Lhungay’s singing pulled at my heartstrings. It made me want to cry.”