REVIEW: 17th Annual Multicultural Greek Exhibition

*The image above features Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Incorporated; sorry I didn’t have a good seat to take a picture from :,)*

I saw many familiar organizations from the Yardshow last semester at the Multicultural Greek Exhibition (MGX) on Saturday. Since this event was in a smaller and more private venue, I think I got to know more about the community; one art form I really appreciated seeing again is called a ‘salute’. It’s a tradition unique to many Latino-Greek organizations and is performed in a line formation. They described it as being different from a step or stroll, which are more dance-like, and compared it to a form of poetry expressed through both recitation and movement honoring past accomplishments and cultural history.

Saluting can be startling when seeing it for the first time due to its intense nature, and I hadn’t heard of it before last Saturday; when I first saw it at the Yardshow I didn’t even know that some of the performances I was watching were called a salute. I’m sure many others haven’t heard or seen a salute before either because of how integrated it is in Greek (specifically Latino-Greek) culture and there aren’t many opportunities to see them. I highly recommend it though, because it’s truly a special experience.

It’s impossible for me to capture the salutes I saw only in words, but in my best attempt to describe it the members were SO powerful with their facial expressions, had amazing coordination, showed unbreakable unity, and expressed passionate language. You truly see a whole other side to someone who is performing a salute. Their hard work is so impressive.

I did enjoy the other groups too! I’ve only been attending more serious dance-focused events recently, as in the performers and centered around dance performance, and coming to this event reminded me of how much fun it is for the audience AND the performers when they’re not even ‘dancers’.

While I don’t want to compare, I did prefer the Yardshow more, largely due to the location. Since it was indoors and in a smaller room, there wasn’t much awareness or accessibility to the general public that the event was happening. This meant that the amount and kind of audience were limited and the view I had of the stage wasn’t very good.

Still, it was a fun time and I’m glad I went! Shoutout to all the organizations that performed, especially Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Incorporated for organizing it and doing such a good job hosting.


PREVIEW: 17th Annual Multicultural Greek Exhibition

The Multicultural Greek Exhibition (MGX) hosted by Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Incorporated is tomorrow: Saturday, March 25th at 7:00 PM in the Michigan Union Rogel Ballroom. This event will be a collaboration between various multicultural greek organizations on campus, where they’ll give all kinds of performances expressing their pride and showcasing their greek traditions.

Last semester I attended the Yardshow, a similar event hosted in the Diag by Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, Incorporated. It was an indescribable experience and certainly a night to remember, with one of the largest and most supportive crowds I’ve ever been a part of. Not only did I witness great performances, I also had a valuable learning experience regarding what multicultural greek life entails and how it differentiates itself from other kinds of fraternities and sororities. Through powerful dances and facial expressions, they showed the audience the significance of their values and history.

I can’t wait to see what MGX has in store, as they promised on their instagram (@lta_betaomicron) a “night full of energy”. The event is free and open to the public; there will also be a chance to participate in mini-games and win prizes.

If you’re still curious as to what kind of experience it may be, I recommend checking out my previous review on the Yardshow (no promises as to how alike they are though). However, the best and most accurate way to find out is by attending yourself tomorrow night!

REVIEW: Ovid’s Metamorphoses in a Modern Theatrical Adaptation by Mary Zimmerman

It’s always a pleasure to enjoy something you weren’t certain you would. I am usually unmoved by the classics, from Shakespeare to Homer to Woolf. They don’t translate to modern day values and speech, and they always seem to be written as densely as possible. Besides the lack of ease I face understanding these texts, their baffling popularity throughout great lengths of time–even millennia–is personally upsetting to me, and makes my annoyance all the more overpowering.

While adaptations of old texts usually fall short of capturing a modern audience’s interest, this one was well done. Where typically the author relies on flat jokes and cheesy costumes, Zimmerman simultaneously honored the poetry of Ovid’s great work and subtly brought it into the now with small script changes and stage directions that shone through to the present. The cast were careful not to overdo it, understanding that the purpose of the adaptation was not solely cheap comedy, but should reflect the philosopher’s original, complex ideas. When the stage light reflected in Sophie Thurschwell’s eyes as she gave a soliloquy for her dear lost Orpheus, I was struck by the raw drama she could call upon to recite her ancient lines. Both she and Maria Garcia Reyna were excellent in adding a high degree of emotion into their acting, and paired with their alto-range voices, they had the power to truly resonate beneath the skin.

Bryce Foley and Maria Garcia Reyna in “Pomona and Vertumnus”

I was especially impressed with the success of the myths that were on the more humorous side. Like I said, it’s so easy to get this wrong through overacting, or an overly modernized version of the original text. Bryce Foley was my favorite in this respect, remaining fully deadpan when acting as Hermes, spinning Eurydice over and over. His best myth was Pomona and Vertumnus, where he played a slew of different characters including a solider, farmer, fisher, and grandmother. While the opportunity for overacting here was present, he gracefully avoided doing so, instead allowing lower-key body movements to elaborate on his range of costumes.

The entire crew was excellent in incorporating an array of fabrics as props, which mesmerized under the lights. Iris’ glittering golden wings seemed to reflect and hide at the same time. The motion of the fabric waves dragged me into the stage like the physical tide, a rip current of blue organza. A ruffling cape was able to flip from black to red with each minute movement. I only wish they had used more fabrics in the choreographed sections, as Iris’ jaunt across the stage was enough evidence alone to support that endeavor.

My only real critique of the show has nothing to do with the script or acting, but the music played in the background of each myth. Most were surprisingly tacky considering the quality of the rest of the production, sounding like something out of a kids’ version of a King Arthur story. This sometimes distracted from the scene at hand, especially in the more emotional ones. Other than that, it was a first-rate performance, and I would encourage anyone to attend another of theirs in the future.

A few upcoming events for all interested in more great theatre:

RC Players’ Evening of Scenes–January 31 and February 1, 8PM Keene Theatre

We the PROUD’s “What Was and May Be”–February 14, Keene Theatre