Photo by Morgan Plunkett
After taking a gap year, the Chinese Cabaret made a comeback on March 25th, bringing a crowd of 300-400 people to the SME Auxiliary Gym to learn about Chinese culture. Entry fees and donations raised $1,200 to support students traveling to China in June on the yearly trip organized by Chinese teacher Hau In-Lau.
Dozens of cultural performances, including fan dances, kung fu demonstrations and a Chinese yo-yo routine were organized by Mrs. Lau and the members of the Chinese Club. The Chinese Club also helped set up the event and ran booths displaying aspects of Chinese culture such as common games, calligraphy and origami.
Since Chinese culture is hard to come by at East, the Chinese Cabaret provided a valuable experience for the SME community according to National Chinese Honors Society (NCHS) members juniors Matthew Trecek and Denny Rice. Attendees were able to be immersed in Chinese culture and learn about a country that greatly influences America.
“We had a really good turnout this year and that’s something we’re always looking forward too, especially in terms of getting the community involved.” Rice said.
Throughout the entire event there was only one major dilemma: the sound system. The equipment had difficulty playing the performers’ music, especially CD’s. The source of the complication is still unknown.
“Technology will never cease to be a problem, and that was just something we had to deal with [on Saturday],” Denny Rice said. “Props to everyone that was working with the technical stuff and in the control center.”
Sound system aside, the event was considered an overall success by Mrs. Lau and the Chinese Club members. The attendees appeared to have fun and enjoyed the performances and activities and a large amount of money was raised to support the Chinese Club.
“It was really fun,” said freshman Chinese Club member Sophie Sun on her Chinese Yo-Yo performance. “There was a pretty good crowd, and we got a good response [from the audience].”
The money raised will primarily be used to help cover the cost of the China trip in June, an optional “vacation” organized by Mrs. Lau. Students going on the trip will get a tour of major cities and tourist attractions in China. The money will also be used for other various field trips to the zoo or the Nelson Atkins museum for the Chinese classes this semester.
Unfortunately, this year may be the final year for Cabaret. Since it is the last year there will be a China trip an event the size of Cabaret will not be needed to fundraise sufficient funds for Chinese Club. However there is the possibility a smaller event will occur next year similar to Cabaret.
“Overall [the Cabaret] was a pretty big success,” said Trecek. “I think it really did spread some Chinese cultural awareness throughout the community and it gave all of the visitors a good idea of Chinese [traditions].”