Columbia’s Chinese Students Club’s 33rd annual Lunar Gala hopes to cast off cultural clichés in “The Uproar,” a three-part culture, fashion, and art show promoting Chinese culture.
Counting Raw Elementz, CU Generation, and CU Lion Dance among the student groups performing, the Lunar Gala will also feature String Theory, a freshman cello quartet specializing in pop songs, as well as special guest Jennifer Chung, a Californian YouTube singing sensation.
Jackie Ho, CC ’14 and a Lunar Gala director, is particularly excited about Chung, who she sees as being able to “push what can be done in terms of an Asian-American artist.” String Theory will debut a new cover at Lunar Gala, which they plan to record after the event.
CSC’s Lunar Gala distinguishes itself from Asian American Alliance’s cultureSHOCK, which also showcases student performers, by offering banquet-style seating. “We try to create more of an experience rather than just a show,” CSC president Sarah Kwok, CC ’13, added. “We really try to make it into a whole night.”
Instead of dividing its culture and fashion show, Lunar Gala will intertwine the two elements this year. “We didn’t want to play it safe,” Ma said. The fashion show, directed by Hannah Choi, BC ’14 and Spectator photo deputy, and Joel Camacho, CC ’14, showcases boutique designers such as Milly and Shanghai Tang, whose unique, tailored clothing was especially chosen for each scene to match the cultural theme.
The fashion show’s overall theme—“Colour Revolution”—is meant to invoke a break from tradition, according to the organizers. “The theme of ... avant-garde that is grungy and controversial—that was something we agreed on from the very beginning,” Ho said.
Pushing the boundaries in such a large-scale event does not come without challenges. “We were kind of concerned about allocation this year since grant money has been kind of low across the campus,” Ho said.
But with its board members distributed across various subcommittees responsible for different areas such as logistics and promotion, the event has come together with financial assistance from corporate sponsors and the Columbia University Chinese Students and Scholars Association.
“Seeing everyone give so much effort into this one big final climactic release ... and seeing everything coming together is just really exciting,” Ho said.
The gala will take place on Saturday, March 3 in Roone Arledge Auditorium from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.