One World Cultural Festival to celebrate 'Arabian Nights'

Mosaic performing an Egyptian dance

The annual One World Cultural Festival will take place this weekend with the theme “Arabian Nights.”


            The festival will begin at 6:30 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 27) in the Frame-Westerberg Commons and feature international displays and booths, an international buffet, fashion show and other entertainment. The festival is free, but those who wish to eat at the buffet are asked to make a $5 donation.


            The featured entertainment will be Mosaic Dance Theater Company from New York City, which will perform traditional dances from the Mediterranean, including the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey, Greece, Italy and Spain.


            Educational and interactive booths throughout the Commons will allow attendees to weave a basket; play chopstick games; learn about Chinese paper-cutting, knots and plum-tee painting; participate in a drum circle; and make an animal mask.


            Food selections available at stations in the dining hall will include dishes from the Mediterranean, Central and South America, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Unlike previous festivals, this year's buffet will be prepared solely by the food service at Pitt-Bradford.


            At 8 p.m., activities will move to the Mukaiyama University Room, where four student groups will perform. The first will be the Diamond Steppers, who will perform a number using the traditions of step dancing, which involves rhythms made by using their hands and feet.


            Also appearing will be a student Tai Chi Class demonstration led by Mandy Guo and Sally Gou of the Confucius Institute.  Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese discipline involving a continuous series of controlled usually slow movements designed to improve physical and mental well-being.


Students in Brenda Brandon's clogging class will demonstrate traditional clog dancing. The American form of clogging is a truly unique dance form that began in the Appalachian Mountains and now enjoys widespread popularity throughout the United States and around the world.


Rounding out the university performances will be Basic Pitches, Pitt-Bradford's newly formed a cappella group.  The group will be making their first Cultural Festival appearance singing “One Day,” an international anthem for peace and non-violence written by the Jewish reggae singer Matisyahu.


Finally the Mosaic Dance Theater Company will take the stage.  The group is known for its artistry and authenticity, not only in creating the original works that comprise its repertoire, but also in faithfully researching their origins to ensure cultural integrity. In a world engulfed by popular culture, the company embraces the historical treasures of the past, the ways of tradition, and the sensibilities of the present in its goal to celebrate the remarkable varieties and similarities of the Mediterranean cultures.


The company tours nationally to performing arts venues, schools and universities, and is on the roster of arts-in-education artists for Lincoln Center's Meet the Artist series.


As in years past, flags of many nations will be flying in the Commons Café. These flags represent the nations that students call home.


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