Students Celebrate Diversity

Smits Emcees

The Society of Arab Students performed a traditional Palestinian dance, the Latinas Unidas staged a modern Hispanic play commiserating the plight of Mexican farm workers and dozens of other groups gathered over the weekend to celebrate cultural diversity at Harvard.

It was all part of the Harvard Foundation's tenth annual Cultural Rhythms festival, held on Saturday in front of a nearly full crowd at Sanders Theatre.

Former L.A.Law star Jimmy Smits hosted the three-hour show, which featured 24 performances sponsored by over 50 students groups.

S. Allen Counter, director of the Harvard Foundation, introduced the show as an opportunity "to highlight and celebrate the rich cultural diversity and similarity among Crimson Suz Ross JIMMY SMITS, star of NBC's L.A. Law, hosted the 10th annual Cultural Rhythms festival Saturday in Sanders Theatre. us."

The performances featured exquisite costumesand remarkable choreography all produced by thestudent group.

One of the crowd's favorite performances wasthe Puerto Rican Dance troupe's show, featuringsamba and marenga dances as well as a series ofcartwheels.


The shows not only spanned the globe but alsoseveral centuries.

The first performance, by the South Asian DanceOrganization, spotlighted a 16th centurytraditional dance involving intricate footworkand of the show, Barak Marshall '93 performed amodern Israeli song.

Other performance had been more contemporaryreferences. The Korean Student Association drewlaughter and applause from the crowd when in themiddle of their rhythmic percussion routine theyshouted the famous on liner: "taste great, lessfilling"--in Korean.

But the show did not run with out snags. Beforethe end of Neu Neu Li's "dance of the peacock,"the lights accidentally came on and the audienceand host Smits began clapping.

The Performance resumed when the danceradmitted she had not yet finished.

Smits reacted with obvious embarrassment and inan attempt to lighten the situation said theincident "ruffled my feathers."

During the Intermission of the show the HarvardFoundation presented Smits with an award for hiscontribution to intercultural relations and theperforming Arts.

In addition to hosting the show, Smits aids heis involved with the organization El Rescate which"deals with bringing central Americans into theUnited States and helping political prisoners."

In a surprise gesture, President Neil L.Rudenstine awarded Counter with a plaque ofappreciation for his work with the foundation.

Rudenstine praised the Cultural Rhythmsfestival. "It takes an event like this to showwhat diversity means," said extremely well doneand great celebration."