The Lunar New Year Production Club’s Virtual Performance

A celebration of East Asian culture in their first ever virtual performance.

%E2%80%9CThis+year+has+been+a+wild+ride.+In+light+of+the+Coronavirus+pandemic%2C+we+had+to+learn+to+adjust+with+an+all+virtual+performance%2C%E2%80%9Dsaid+Bonnie+Huang+%E2%80%9922%2C++the+President+of+the+Lunar+New+Year++Production+Club.+

Bonnie Huang and Elizabeth Jung

“This year has been a wild ride. In light of the Coronavirus pandemic, we had to learn to adjust with an all virtual performance,”said Bonnie Huang ’22, the President of the Lunar New Year Production Club.

In the month of May along with the pending arrival of summer, students were also looking forward to an exciting event: The Lunar New Year Annual Production Showcase!

On May 17th, 2021, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., the Lunar Production put together a fantastic showcase that can be watched HERE. But, of course, like many shows, the showcase was moved entirely online this year due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. This year, the Lunar New Year Production Club’s virtual performance was organized by Bonnie Huang ’22 (president), Hasuno Takei ’21 (vice president), Elizabeth Jung ’22 (secretary), and Avery Look ’21 (co-secretary). 

The way that clubs have been conducted during the 2020-2021 academic has completely changed, due to the pandemic. “A typical club meeting would be a collaborative group of dancers, singers, and more, and the atmosphere was simply magical and divine. Watching others practice their East Asian songs and groove to the music was always the most rewarding part of meetings. Now, however, things have taken a turn. We have tried our best to uphold the same euphoric feeling that arises during each meeting, by holding frequent icebreakers, activities, and games, over Zoom,” said Takei. 

Traditionally, is also essential for the production team to prepare for the end of year showcase. The majority of their time is usually spent on a stage. For years, Lunar performed in the auditorium, which consistently attracted a large audience. However, this year it was a completely different experience. “As one could tell from in-person performances in the years before the pandemic, performances in the auditorium occurred on the stage, with bodies close together and sweat everywhere. Now, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we relied on technology and editing, thanks to our amazing backstage team. We were able to construct a wonderfully-made virtual performance (streaming on YouTube) withholding the same Lunar ideals and traditions that have helped to pass down the history of our club,” Jung said. 

Keeping Lunar members motivated and keeping their meetings engaging was another challenge that they faced during the 2020-2021 academic year. “In previous years, we wholeheartedly took the privilege of being able to practice together for granted. Typically, Lunar members are always smiling, laughing, and overall having an enjoyable time with one another in person, but once we had to resort to virtual meetings, many of our members have lost the sparkling pizazz that each of them had possessed. Staying at home, socially isolated, and wrapped up with academics has affected each and every one of us, some more than others, and there were days where it was difficult to truly connect with each other through a virtual screen,” Look said. 

The board members then decided that the best way to overcome this struggle was by using breakout rooms. “By dividing ourselves into separate, smaller groups, we were able to connect with one another more personally and individually, as well as express our thoughts and feelings during these times of isolation,” Look said. 

Last but not least, one obstacle that the board members faced was how to keep this performance engaging. “By broadcasting the first virtual performance in Lunar history, we hoped to surprise our audience members with the versatility of our members, and how we worked together through the face of adversity. Dancing in groups? Nope. Members danced individually in the safety of their own homes, and through tricky editing and swift adjustments, boom — they are dancing together in harmonious synchronization. Singing in a duet, not possible anymore? Nope. Recording and syncing videos together made for a beautifully conducted performance! We have also included a singing medley, a collection of various East Asian songs mashed up together to form one unique song. All of these new and creative elements stitched together seamlessly, with the help of our talented performers and editors. It resulted in a special performance, never seen before,” Huang said. 

No matter how the show was performed, the Lunar New Year Production Club pulled it off once again! 

“We were able to construct a wonderfully-made virtual performance (streaming on YouTube) withholding the same Lunar ideals and traditions that have helped to pass down the history of our club,” said Elizabeth Jung ’22. 

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