The Chinese Student Association and Taiwanese American Students Club brought a diverse lineup of Asian and Asian-American performers to Cahn Auditorium for Celebrasia 2019 on Saturday. Celebrating Lunar New Year, the event showcased a wide array of dance, comedy and music.
The Chinese Year of the Pig, which began Feb. 5, served as the show’s theme. Between performances, a parody of Avengers: Infinity War was played. Entitled Avengers: Infinity Boar, the film told the story of “Hamos,” who collected stones named for aspects of Asian culture including chopsticks, bubble tea and Subtle Asian Dating.
Both student groups and celebrity guests performed at the event. The show’s organizers were excited to bring a variety of performances to the stage.
“I think it’s a pretty good lineup,” said Weinberg senior and TASC president Jacqueline Wu. “We have a singer, we have a comedian, we have a beatboxer (which is always super hype), and then we always have a dance crew and that’s also really exciting. So I think it’s a really good buildup.”
Typhoon Dance Troupe started off the night. The group led with a classical dance featuring traditional garb before transitioning to a more contemporary routine with modern apparel and music.
The next performer was comedian and actor Ronny Chieng, known for his appearances as a correspondent on The Daily Show and his role as Eddie Cheng in Crazy Rich Asians. In his standup set, Chieng argued for an Asian president and recounted his experience getting married overseas.
Next up was Refresh Dance Crew. The urban dance team stunned the audience with flashy choreography set to hip-hop and pop songs.
After a brief intermission, singer-songwriter Clara Chung took the stage. At least she would have, but miscommunication within Chung's team led to her flight being a day late. Instead, Chung was brought in as a video call on a laptop, with pre-recorded performances projected behind her. To make up for her absence, Chung debuted a new song, “Beaux,” as she performed from afar. Despite her physical absence, audience members were impressed with Chung’s performance.
“At first I was worried about the quality, but it ended up coming through pretty well,” said Weinberg sophomore Michelle Jiang.
East-Asian interest a capella group Northwestern Treblemakers were next on the lineup. They performed Queen’s “Somebody to Love,” a mashup of Jordin Sparks’ “Battlefield” and Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble,” and a soulful ballad sung in Chinese.
Dharni, a Singaporean beatboxer based in Poland, performed next. He brought four audience members onto the stage and taught them some of his techniques (or attempted to teach, at least). Afterwards, he dove into an elaborate beatbox performance which included a variety of sound effects and percussion.
The final act of the night was Los Angeles-based dance crew Kinjaz, known for appearances on shows such as World of Dance and America’s Best Dance Crew. Sporting distinctive jackets and hats, the group debuted a stylish routine filled with breathtaking hip-hop and breakdance moves. Afterwards, the group hosted a Q&A session in which audience members asked questions ranging from their favorite television appearances to their willingness to give lap dances.
After the show, audience members lined up for a meet and greet with the performers, who were pleased with the crowd’s reaction to the show. Chieng described the audience as “unusually enthusiastic.”
“It’s almost like they don’t know life sucks,” Chieng said.
Editor's note: This article was updated on February 17 to clarify details regarding Clara Chung's performance.