Since their first day at MMLA, students have been preparing for the World Expo. The Expo, which took place Friday night, is an opportunity for each Academy to showcase what they have been learning in their Cultural Exploration classes, in assemblies, as well as presentations they have shared together. Students showed off their “bachata” and “merengue” steps–two dances that originated in the Dominican Republic–and had all of the other Academies on their feet and following along. One group rewrote the lyrics to “De colores” to be about their time here at MMLA, while another did the same for Marc Anthony’s “Vivir Mi Vida.” They even choreographed to it! The highlight of the Spanish presentation was definitely our last number. The Spanish Academy’s song of the summer is Pitbull’s “Echa Pa’lla” and students have been working on a dance to go along with it. It put a real exclamation mark on the evening and was the perfect way to close our part of the Expo.
-Gabriel, Spanish Academy DH
This morning, we were buzzing with excitement for the World Expo. We were all trying to anticipate what the other academies were going to present. During lunch, many students were discussing what it means to be culturally aware and how this experience has helped them better understand cultural diversity. During the afternoon, we were busy putting the final touches on our presentations for the Expo. We practiced with our groups and then we did a dress rehearsal with the entire Academy. At dinner, each Academy wore their academy t-shirts and the positive energy was palpable.
As the time for the expo finally approached, each Academy assembled in front of their dorm to march to the Ackley Theatre. We all chanted and sang to show our spirit for the Chinese Academy! Once in our seats, it took a minute for the summer site director to calm us down so that he could welcome us to the World Expo 2014!
After the Chinese Academy presented, it was time for the French Academy! First up were students who sang a translated version of the hit pop song “Happy.” They cleverly changed the lyrics and opened the show with a bang. They clapped and danced to show how “Ravi” they really were. Next up was the “Moustache” group. They danced to the Eurovision song by the French group Twin Twin. This song had all the academies laughing and dancing along. After that, the Creole group presented a dance by “La Machine a Danser.” They had practiced so well and showed a great flair of Francophone culture.
Next, we were in for a surprise as the African drumming and dance group entered from behind the audience. They were wearing traditional African garb and were feeling the pounding rhythm of the “tambours.” After their grand entrance, they did a song and dance to “Ma Jolie” by Abd Al Malik. The next group waiting in the wings sang two songs accompanied by guitar. “La Vie est Belle” & “Restos du Coeur” never sounded so beautiful!
For the grande finale, the entire French Academy came to the stage, assembled in the aisles and sang their version of the French FIFA 2014 song. We recreated the lyrics to fit our MMLA life and everyone loved our performance! We are so proud of all of the hard work and practice we have done for this event.
Now we are off to bed because we have a busy weekend ahead! Bonne Nuit!
-Jason, French Academy DH
Our last weekend here in Vermont started out with a bang. Friday night was “World Expo Night,” where each academy put on a performance to showcase the talents of the students and some of the many cultures the target languages they represent. The German Academy worked diligently the week leading up to the Expo, rehearsing their acts, creating props and working on their costumes. The audience on World Expo night saw the Chinese Academy’s talents first, then the French Academy, followed by the Spanish Academy and finally the German Academy.
In true German Academy style, we had a show all our own. The German Academy began their show with an MMLA-ified rendition of The Brothers Grimm’s Snow White. Despite the production being entirely in German, our talented group of actors and actresses had the entire audience bent over in laughter. The skit was followed by an acoustic version of German rapper Cro’s Du, followed by an MMLA version of Super Geil - a very funny commercial and song for the German grocery store chain Edeka. After the two songs came a traditional Schuhplattler dance accompanied by the two German Academy RAs on violin and viola. Schuhplattler was followed up by Nena’s 99 Luftballons, a popular German song from the early 1980’s. The performers had the entire crowd standing and dancing while 99 balloons floated above their heads.
The entire German Academy then came together for one final number - Rock Mi Heit Nocht. The students gave an electrifying performance that was a mix of both modern music and dances, with traditional Schuhplattler. The World Expo proved, once again, that the German Academy is a special group of talented, motivated and boundlessly creative individuals. Congratulations!
-Hannah, German Academy DH
Chinese may have taken second place in the MMLA Olympics, but there is no doubt that we took the gold in the World Expo. Our show began with a short skit in Chinese (that peaked with Yi Chen, the Chinese academy’s favorite baby, pulling a huge carrot out of the ground). Following this, we proceeded to sing a number of songs that students memorized in Chinese accompanied by Brian and Will on piano and Michael on the violin. Then, five students led a self-choreographed dance using traditional Chinese fans (this was completed completely without teacher support - the students proposed the dance and did it all themselves!).
Following the Chinese Academy’s long-held Expo tradition, our section of the night ended with a Tai Chi demonstration featuring the skills students have learned in our Tai Chi culture class. Students who have taken extra Tai Chi courses during free time and before morning assembly were featured in specialized duets and solos during the performance.
After the Chinese show, students watched and interacted along with the other academies’ performances. The students stood up and danced as the Spanish Academy taught us merengue and bachata moves, and we all sang along with the Germans as they performed “99 Red Balloons.” The night ended with a silly dance performance from the MMLA staff, after which students jokingly tease us for having two left feet.
-Joseph, Chinese Academy DH