15th annual Colors in Harmony event captivates audience

The Eastern Michigan University Student Center Auditorium hosted a colorful, vibrant and unique show Saturday night. The 15th annual Colors in Harmony filled the room with fashion, talent and culture from all around the world. From the moment the first performer took the stage, the audience was captivated, and the energy level remained high throughout the show.

Before the performances began, music was being played and a slideshow of photos was displayed on the screen above the stage as the audience took their seats. A show program was given to each audience member, which described each performance, as well as who was participating in it. The performances were diverse and ranged from singing, to dancing, to a traditional Korean drum piece.

The first performance of the night was a song that gave the audience a message that we are all “born to win” and “losing’s not an option,” immediately setting the stage for a positive and uplifting show. Audience members interacted and sang along with the message of the song, at one point turning to the person next to them and saying “you are born to win” bringing a feeling of morale in the room.

Ilhom Amanov, the president of the International Student Association, came on stage after the first performance to give a thank you message to the audience and participants of Colors in Harmony. He explained that, as students of EMU, it is “our responsibility to be a global community,” and that is what Colors in Harmony is representing.

With each act to follow, the hosts commented on the performances and the screen previously showing a slideshow of photos now gave the name and description of the next performers. The dance groups ranged from trios, dancing in Latin and hip-hop styles, to a group of nine who performed a fusion of different dance forms from India. A solo belly dancer displayed a message of power and strength in women through her artistic talent.

Other dancers included World Order, a “slow-motion” group dancing to a popular Japanese band, a traditional Saudi Arabian dance group and a group of five female dancers who performed contemporary and traditional African dances. A Chinese form of internal martial arts also performed, with the intricate and steady moves making the performance feel almost like a dance.

The EagleFIT team did a teaser of their upcoming show This Is It, which will be performed on April 2. A variety of dances and songs all themed around Michael Jacksons career will be performed at the event, and the audience of Colors in Harmony got a little taste of what the show is going to be like.

The singers that performed in the show showed how bilingual some of the students of EMU are. The performances included a Chinese pop song, an Italian love song and “Hero” by Enrique Iglasias. The audience was introduced to music sung in a variety of languages. A Korean student sang “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys, and a traditional Pakistani song, translated as “Oh My Beloved,” was sung by Muneez Patel, who was also a host for the event.

Patel, an EMU student pursuing his master’s degree in health education, admitted after the show that he had been nervous to perform, but refused to let the audience see that. He said the positive energy from the audience felt like “electricity” and he loved being on stage.

Patel participated in Colors of Harmony last year, both singing and dancing. He said it’s important for students to come to events like Colors in Harmony because “diversity creates a positive environment.” Patel believes that “no matter what color, background or language, everybody has a talent” and showing these talents will “spread happiness” to the world.

Colors in Harmony also showed the audience that faculty and staff of EMU are also multicultural and talented. A group of seven performed a traditional folk dance from Turkey, reminding students that not just EMU’s students are diverse. Seeing faculty and staff members, along with students, performing shows just how much pride and talent this school has.

The show ended with a fashion show. Participants stomped the stage in traditional dress while Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” played, causing audience members to dance along in their seats. Ending the show on a positive note kept with the energetic themes of the entire show.

Immediately after the show the room was filled with hugging, photo-taking and cheering. The show was a successful display of how diverse and beautiful the EMU community is and how much talent can be found on our campus.

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