Berry Feted At Rhythms

Actor and model Halle Berry entertained a lively soldout audience Saturday as guest of honor and host of the Harvard Foundation's 13th annual Cultural Rhythms show in Sanders Theatre.

Twenty groups presented traditional dances, ethnic music and other performances ranging from a lion dance by the Asian American Dance Troupe to a spirited choral performance by the Kuumba singers.

Berry introduced each group and received flowers and kisses from the performers between performances.

The Foundation selected Berry as cultural Artist of the Year because of her acting achievements and her contributions to humanitarian causes.

"She was fantastic," said Rita J. Maxwell '98, co-director of Cultural Rhythms. "She was very, very sweet, intelligent, very personable."


The audience apparently agreed, receiving her with roaring applause as she introduced each performing group.

The seat next to Berry was especially popular as participants in each performance had a chance to sit with Berry for a few minutes.

"She really spiced it up," said student group liaison Frederick Antwi '01.

A number of the acts invited Berry to participate mid-performance, which she did willingly.

"[The audience] seemed to react to our dance when the lion went over to Halle," said AsianAmerican Dance Troupe member Wendy W. Chou '99. "Ithought I heard a chuckle out there."

Harvard Foundation Director S. Allen Counterand Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis '68presented Berry with an honorary plaque.

Berry's eyes welled with tears as she acceptedthe award, and she expressed gratitude for thereception she received, which included a welcomingserenade by the Kuumba Singers at Logan Airportand a luncheon in Kirkland House.

Having come from a background of mixedethnicities and cultures, Berry explained thatCultural Rhythms had a special meaning to herbecause of the way the show brought the differentgroups together.

Berry is best known for her roles in JungleFever and Losing Isaiah and is aninternational spokesperson for Revlon.

The artistic showcase was followed by a FoodFestival in the Science Center, presented by 35student organizations.

"We had a lot of people and it wasn't ascrowded as last year," said Food Committeeco-chair Elizabeth A. Chiappa '01. "The groupsseemed happy and we got a lot of good responses."

Adding to its culinary success, the FoodFestival made close to $2,000, Chiappa said.

"I think it was an overwhelming success," saidco-director Nana E. Coleman '98. "I was pleased tosee a strong diverse representation in groups,both in the show and food festival.

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