Bright lights, oriental-inspired costumes and the sound of soft Asian music filled Lee Hall Auditorium on Tuesday.
The FAMU Lyceum Series presented Youth International-Youth USA. YIYUSA performed an original Pan-Asian dance drama by Iny Asian Dance Theater, Twin Cities Chinese Dance Center and Asian Media Access.
Kawachi Clemons, interim chair for the Department of Music and Lyceum committee member, said YIYUSA’s performance allowed students to experience art from a culture they may not have been familiar with.
“YIYUSA gave a diverse cultural context on a smaller scale, allowing the students to dig to the inner core of expose of the arts of different ethnicities,” Clemons said.
The youth group used Asian dance and symbolism to tell a love story about a dragon princess who dreamed of becoming a human girl so she could have the ability to dance with the hunter.
Ashley Goodwin, a third-year business administration student from Collegeville, Pa., watched the story unfold through body language and imagery. Different Asian fusion dance styles were displayed. She said the show was entertaining.
“I really enjoyed the element of dance,” Goodwin said. “I love the costumes. They were really reflecting the Asian roots.”
Each act displayed a dance and an exploration of weather patterns such as rain, sun and cold. Asian customs involving the importance of family and keeping a village together were presented along with the life lesson that a person’s mind can be easily controlled if one does not stay true to his or her beliefs and values.
Sharonda Moore, a second-year accounting student from Miami, enjoyed the youth group’s use of dance to convey the story. She said she enjoyed the water scene the most.
“It really explained the story,” Moore said. “Their dancing is so graceful.” 12