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35th International Festival

By Daniel Panzer
On April 10, 2011

The talents and cultures of UB student performers from around the world were the main highlights of the 35th Annual International Festival. At the conclusion of the twenty performances, the panel of judges named first, second and third place winners in the small groups division and the large groups division.

Perdita Das who performed a folk dance to a compilation of three modern Bengali songs and Xiaowan "Maggie" Qui who performed the Moonlight dance tied for third place in the small groups division. Nadine Boudissa and Sahas Sakhare claimed second place for their dance duet that concluded with the Indian hit "Sheila." Alante Vidal took first place in the small groups division with his dance choreograph to Eminem and Rihanna's "Love the Way You Lie."

 "I am always inspired by the way other people dance," Vidal said. "I look to others for support and when I receive that support I channel it and it makes me want to dance more."

China Dance received third place in the large groups division for their Long Last Happiness traditional dance. The Future Leaders of Hip Hop (F.L.O.H.) placed second with their secret agent inspired dance choreography. The Nepal Group secured first place with their varied dance choreograph based on a unifying message.

"Our concept was world peace," Chairperson of the Nepal Group and Dance Choreographer Shraddha Joshi said. "The songs were about different instruments forming a symphony, and that's how we expect people around the world to live: in harmony."

According to the event's pamphlet, the panel of judges consisted of UB Community Service Coordinator Jennifer Turner of the AmeriCorps Vista, Sarah Lubarsky of the Center for Women and Families, UB Alumnus Chris O'Neil of the Admission Staff, UB Alumna Angelica Castillo, Miguel Arroyo of Admissions and Dr. Jani Pallis of the UB Departments of Technology Management and Mechanical Engineering.

"We looked at creativity, how much [the performers] represented the country they represented, audience reaction, visual appeal, overall performance and energy," O'Neil said. "While all the performers displayed amazing talent, both Alante and the Nepal Group really shined amongst the performances."

Present at the festival was a Tom's Shoes Silent Auction of shoes decorated by UB Students, from which all the proceeds went to the American and Japanese Red Cross to help with disaster relief in Japan.

            The International Festival Committee comprised of Festival Committee Co-Chairs Colleen Powers and Prashant Giri, Performance Co-Chairs Delia Amsterdam and Brandon Lleras, as well as Ellen Roberts, Perdita Das, Ciara Negron, Nadine Boudissa, Darren Ganesh, Josephine Manu and Ahmed Farag. The Masters of Ceremony were Graduate Student Richard Greenwood and Graduate Student Laura Cabrera.

"The International Festival Committee wishes to acknowledge all the performers and students," the event pamphlet said. "Without their hard work this event would not have been possible!"

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