Photo Courtesy of James Zhu

A Look Into Boston College Culture Shows

My favorite part of every spring semester is the plethora of dance performances that take place just about every week. Boston College Arts Festival, held this year from Thursday, April 25 to Saturday, April 27, includes a Dance Showcase with a variety of dance styles such as Irish dance, hip-hop, tap, step, and more. The notorious ALC Showdown, held this year on Saturday, March 30, features teams such as Sexual Chocolate, Fuego, Phaymus, Synergy, and culture-based groups such as Presenting Africa to You (PATU), AEROdynamiK Dance Crew (AeroK), Vida de Intensa Pasión (VIP), and Masti.

Beyond the dazzling spectacle of dance, the competition’s real significance lies in its goal of “promoting diversity and cultural awareness through dance.”  This aim of cultural competence and appreciation through dance thankfully extends beyond this annual event, via the gems of dance performance featured in Boston College’s culture shows.

Whether you have been to many of them, or none at all (smh), you are in luck: the spring semester is always overflowing with a plethora of culture shows. There are also many culture shows during each fall semester, so keep an eye out for those next semester as well! Unfortunately, the 19th Annual CSA (Chinese Student Association) x KSA (Korean Student Association) Culture Show has already passed, but you can check out their recap video of the fantastic show.

Tonight at 7 p.m. in Robsham, the Organization of Latin American Affairs (OLAA) will host its annual Latino Family Weekend culture show with the theme of “Bienvenido a Casa” or “Welcome Home” and displays of live music, dance, and film. This culture show will also feature the traditional Palo dance of the Dominican Republic, performed by members of the Dominican Association of Boston College.

On Saturday at 5 p.m., South Asian Student Association (SASA) is “back and better than ever” with its 22nd Annual Culture Show: Hum Tum. The show will feature bhangra, garba, and classical dances, as well as a fashion show. The Southeast Asian Student Association presents its annual culture show, Avatar: Journey to Southeast Asia, on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m. in the Rat! The show features 12 acts including Vietnamese fan dance and candle dance. Check out the link featured on the event page to purchase tickets for the show (please, please click).  

The Philippine Society of Boston College (PSBC) will host its annual culture show on March 16 in Gasson 100. Considering my previous participation in the 2017 culture show, this one holds a special place in my heart. I spoke with my close friend Annabelle Lee, MCAS '20, about the importance of this event, and other culture shows on Boston College’s campus. Lee has been a prominent member of PSBC since her freshman year and served as AHANA caucus representative her sophomore year.

“Culture shows provide a really great way for students to get together and learn more about a certain culture and its influences through music and dance," Lee noted. "They’re unique in that they often draw in participants and audience members from beyond a culture club’s general membership and provide a gateway to interacting with and being part of showcasing a culture someone may not have much experience with.”

Tickets for SASA’s culture show can be purchased here. Tickets for OLAA’s and SEASA’s culture shows are free. Tickets for PSBC’s culture show have yet to be announced.

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Elizabeth Coughlin