The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern welcomes Chinese New Year with Celebrasia

Weinberg senior Xipeng Zhang (front) and Weinberg senior Amanda Cheng perform a Chinese dance Saturday night at this year’s Celebrasia event. Several other performers took the stage at the show put on in celebration of the Chinese New Year.

Christian Wilson/Daily Senior Staffer

Weinberg senior Xipeng Zhang (front) and Weinberg senior Amanda Cheng perform a Chinese dance Saturday night at this year’s Celebrasia event. Several other performers took the stage at the show put on in celebration of the Chinese New Year.

Kate Stein, Reporter

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Northwestern kicked off its celebration of the Chinese New Year with a bang — and booms, crackles and hisses — at Celebrasia on Saturday night.

The show was co-sponsored by the Chinese Students Association and Taiwanese American Students Club. It featured musical and dance performances by student groups and professionals, including nationally-recognized hip-hop crew I.aM.mE, Filipino-American singer-songwriter Joseph Vincent and solo performer Auburn, an American urban pop artist.

Medill freshman Alice Zhang said she was impressed by the well-known status of some of the performers. She said she also liked the dancers and was surprised by the diversity of the acts.

“I expected almost all Chinese acts,” she said.

Weinberg sophomore and ReFresh member Danielle Zhu said the show extends beyond the Chinese community. She said Celebrasia’s organizers bring in professional acts that are popular on YouTube to attract more students.

“It’s our Chinese New Year show, but it isn’t exclusive to Chinese or Asian people,” Zhu said. “It’s always a big show, but we weren’t sure about who would show up.”

CSA external president Wendy Wen said the professional acts drew the crowds and the student acts catered toward tradition.

“We bring people here that students wouldn’t normally get to see or would have to pay a lot to see,” Wen said. “It brings around the University community.”

Some students also just enjoy seeing their friends take the stage.

“I love ReFresh because I have a lot of friends in it,” McCormick sophomore Matthew Kim said.

Kim also said he enjoyed the show’s yo-yo act performed by Communication sophomore Jun Ahn and Carnegie Mellon University student Mallory Wang.

Bobby O’Mullan, a Loyola University-Chicago sophomore who heard about the show from a friend, called Celebrasia “the best night of (his) life.” O’Mullan ran to the front of the auditorium to sing, “Perfect Two” with Auburn after she asked for a volunteer from the audience.

“It was the chance of a lifetime,” O’Mullan said. “I knew I’d never have that again.”

In reference to the upcoming Year of the Snake, members of CSA and TASC also produced a video spin-off of “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” to introduce many of the skits.

Members of CSA and TASC held tryouts for the show during Fall Quarter’s Reading Week. They also solicited post-show food donations from Evanston restaurants and decorated Ryan Auditorium before the acts took the stage.

“There’s, like, 80 million things that come together and culminate in the show,” said Weinberg sophomore Adrienne Jenq, TASC outreach chair. “It’s just a really great way for people to come together and celebrate Asian culture.”

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