– “Southeast Asian Falooza” featured culture of Vietnam, Philippines and India, in fun event in J.C. Penney Auditorium.
PHOTO: Entertainment honoring the cultures of Vietnam, the Philippines and India were part of Southeast Asia Falooza. Photo by Heather Welborn for The Current 2014 ©

By Heather Welborn, Features Editor for The Current Features

Entertainment honoring the cultures of Vietnam, the Philippines and India were part of Southeast Asia Falooza. Photo by Heather Welborn for The Current 2014 (c)

The Vietnamese Student Association and Indian Student Association hosted Southeast Asian Falooza on April 19 at 6 p.m. in the J.C. Penney Auditorium. The evening was filled with song, fashion and dance influenced by Vietnamese, Indian and Fillipino culture and tradition.

Ron Heaggans and Kimi Singh served as emcees for the evening. The comedic duo kept the audience laughing in between performances with their jokes and calls for crowd participation. Throughout the evening, the pair enlisted members of the audience in their raffle drawing, picking blue tickets from a triangle-shaped hat and announcing the winners over a microphone. Each raffle drawing was met with loud groans and a single cheer from the winner, who received a small prize and a resounding cheer from the audience. Among the raffle prizes was a coin purse, chopsticks, clothing retail gift cards, a large green parasol and a handmade box.

A wide variety of song and dance was presented throughout the evening. Hip-hop choreography by Alexis Austriaco, Yeanie Bach, Amy Dinh, Jennifer Lam, Kathy Nguyen, Kim Nguyen and Becky Rodenberg had attendees cheering. A short video followed the dance. Titled “Welcome to Vietnam,” the film offered a tourist’s view of the southeastern country, complete with shots of local cuisine and street life.

After a raffle and a short intermission, Alexis Austriaco and Kiran Singh presented “Janggay,” an elegant Fillipino dance with elaborate headdresses and long pointy golden fingernails. Before the next act was introduced, emcees Kimi and Ron selected audience members to attempt an accurate pronunciation of two Vietnamese songs, “Tinh Ve No’i Dau” and “Nguoi Tinh O’i Mo GI.” Participants received much applause before the singers Yeanie Bach, Amy Dinh, Hung Nguyen and Tim Nguyen took the stage. The four sang spirited songs in pairs as the audience screamed with adoration.

After the singing came “Bhangra”, a fast-paced Indian dance by duo Kiran Singh and Sukhbir Thind. Attendees clapped along to the beat as the dancers spun around each other and sped across the stage, smiling as they moved. After the dance, emcee Kimi took the stage with a massive drum and two wooden canes. She proceeded to bang rhythmically on either side of the instrument, picking up the pace as she went along. The audience went ballistic as she did, screaming throughout the percussion solo.

A Filipino dramatic dance titled “Singkil” came next. The choreography included women with large fans, posing at length as two dancers with long wooden poles banged their poles against the floor and against each other as two more dancers moved quickly in between them. As the dancers stepped between the poles, they quickly moved out of the way just before the poles smacked against each other.

Emcee Kimi explained the story behind the loud performance afterward, of an evil king who takes a man’s wife hostage, and the noise leads him to her location within the woods. The evening ended with a fashion show, receiving much cheering from the audience.

©  The Current 2014