The Expo Is Coming!

July 11, 2014

Chinese Academy:

The Art of Fans (扇子)

The rustle of fluttering pink fans filled the Bogue dance studio this afternoon as five Chinese Academy students worked out the final choreography for a fan dance they will perform at the World Expo on Friday. Somehow, in less than a week, these students have managed to learn and perfect this nearly four-minute dance routine. The movements are subtle and complex, a simple turn of the wrist creating an entirely new pattern of flowing pink material. These 扇子 (shànzi, meaning fan) are different from the ones that Tai Chi students are working with: those crack like a whip when opened, causing everyone in the vicinity to jump. These 扇子, however, have fluttering edges that open and close smoothly with every flick of the wrist. Whether it be the fluid motion of the dance 扇子or the percussive snap of the Tai Chi 扇子, everyone is excited for the Chinese Academy’s fan performances tomorrow at the Expo!

- Melanie, Chinese RA

French Academy:

Today the students in the French Academy had a journée très chargée. First, they integrated themselves into our assemblée du matin with a game of “living portraits,” in which they acted out funny MMLA moments, such as the “Poultney Storm of 2014” and Arrival Day. Other students helped RA Natalie wake up the French Academy with some early morning aérobic to French singer Keen’V.

Students were busy all afternoon and evening with World Expo preparation. Each teacher is leading a different song or dance that our students will perform tomorrow night in front of all the academies. The French Academy’s themes for the Expo are un sécret, but we aim to highlight the importance of Francophone cultures through song and dance! This evening at the assemblée du soir, all the students and teachers rehearsed their songs and dances for each other. French Director Marty closed out the rehearsal with our big group song in which we modify the World Cup’s Tous ensemble pour gagner to Tous ensemble pour lefrançais. It’s been remarkable to see the students’ talents in song, dance and in playing musical instruments. Many timid students have learned to step out of theirzone de confort and are taking center stage for the Expo! Although we’re not sure if we’re l’Académie Française or l’Académie de Danse, surely the French Academy’s hard work will pay off at l’Expo tomorrow night, where we will be tous ensemble pour parler français!

- Natalie, French RA

Spanish:

Y continuamos baillando…

Today los españoles had a very Argentina-centric day. The morning assembly included two videos of porras (cheers) for the Argentinian national soccer team, which played a very exciting match against a talented and disciplined Dutch side today. Many of the students joined in the excitement by watching the game, which ended with an Argentinian victory after the players battled through through tiempoextra and penales. There were shouts of joy and sighs of relief after Argentina scored on the penalty kick that won them the match.

Immediately after the game, students had the opportunity to immerse themselves in another form of Argentinian culture by learning los pasos básicos of the tango. The students proved once again how adept they are in the art of dance, and seemed to enjoy the change of pace brought by the slower, more expressive dance form.

The day ended with a bit more practice for the upcoming World Expo. The Spanish Academy is feverishly anticipating the campus-wide event, in which all academies present cultural songs, dances and food to the other academies, so that they too can get a glimpse of what the other academies have been doing this summer. We will present a few dances and songs – including a version of the popular Mexican folk song De colores called Los españoles, about life at MMLA, and a dance to La la la, Shakira’s song for the World Cup this summer, choreographed by Sara and Kinnon.

The Spanish students spent the greater part of the day preparing for the World Expo. Every bit of free time was taken up with dancing and singing. Some students even gave up their activity time in order to be able to practice more! The students are very dedicated to showing the other academies what they have been learning during the first three weeks of their stay here at Green Mountain College.

During Evening Assembly we did a run-through of our whole presentation. Each group practiced coming up on stage and performing their act. Everything went smoothly and we are very, very excited for tomorrow!

- Julia and Simon, Spanish RAs