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An Evening of International Song and Dance

photo credit: Lyon College

On November 18th, students, faculty members, and local community members came together in the Maxfield room to witness musical performances inspired by cultures from all over the world. It was the second event in the International Student Association’s International Education Week, and it served as an opportunity for the Lyon Community to enjoy songs and dances from around the globe.

There were six acts representing five cultures:

  • Dr. Matthew Lebrato and Alma Lebrato performed “Tu si sabes quererme” (a popular song from Mexico) and “El feo” (a traditional song also from Mexico)

  • Mio Koizumi performed Kamigata (Yosakoi, a Japanese dance with traditional and pop music)

  • Dr. Irosha Nawarathne performed a song from Sri Lanka (an ambitious mom talking to her young daughter about the importance of a good education)

  • The Lyon College Scottish Dancers (Bethany Stubbs, Carson Matthews, Dana Smith, Evalina Dunlap, Mio Koizumi) performed a Sword Dance to the bagpipe song “Scottish Brave”--you may have heard this on campus before

  • Raygan Adamson, Tyler Brightwell, and Garrett Russell performed “Rocky Raccoon,” a song originally by the English rock band, The Beatles

At the beginning of the event, Long Nguyen, the president of the ISA, introduced those performances. He explained that they are “very unique and fascinating [because] they represent countries from all over the world.” The audience could experience different cultures through the musical performances of the participants.

Debjanee Nandy, a member of ISA, said, “It is amazing how I got the flavors of different cultures in a small rural town in Arkansas.” Since this event was held on campus on a weekday, most students didn’t have to go out of their way to experience a piece of these various cultures.

Laken Deal, a Lyon College student who attended the event, said, “It was neat seeing my professor, Dr. Lebrato, in an informal setting singing in Spanish with his wife. The band that played Rocky Raccoon was amazing! Tyler has a great voice and range. Get him on American Idol!”

Dr. Irosha Nawarathne, who sang in Sinhala, described this event as “a great opportunity for all the international students, as well as the domestic students, who are interested in international songs and dances to showcase that.” She explained that, as a professor, she was grateful for the chance to share this experience with the campus. She enjoyed that the event provided faculty members with a way to share something they like to do with the Lyon community.

As one of the performers in the event and a member of ISA, I recommend everyone come to our next Night of International Song and Dance. You are welcome to join as a performer if you have an idea for a performance with an international taste. Even if you are not planning to perform, the event will be different from the one you have just seen. You will see some new people and performances each time you show up. The event was a lot of fun this year, and I hope it will continue to be successful in the years to come.