​​Triumphs and Challenges: Behind the Scenes of ASIA’s Lunar Show 2024

The ASIA Board

Hey IMSA! I hope you attended Lunar, which just hit the stage this Friday, January 26th! If you were unable to attend, picture this: dazzling lights, funky beats, and more Asian and AAPI awesomeness than you can imagine!

So, “What’s the deal with Lunar?” you ask. It’s the kind of show that makes you want to break out your best dance moves and maybe even attempt some questionable (iconic IMSA) karaoke. From traditional Asian dances dating back hundreds of years to modern-day K-pop moves, Lunar showcased it all! 

But one thing that often flies under the radar for those not directly involved in the performance, is the effort that goes into planning, choreographing, and scripting all of the acts. So let’s take a look at what the sophomore and senior Asian Students in America (ASIA) representatives have to say regarding what Lunar means to them!

Senior ASIA Representative – Jerrick Li

How has your connection to and understanding of Lunar evolved during your time at IMSA? How has the show impacted the way your identity has been shaped?

“Lunar is always a big celebration of Asian identity and is one of the biggest ways for people to come together […]. When I was a sophomore [during COVID], we were required to perform in the gym instead of the auditorium, where we had to make the best of what we had with social distancing and other challenges […]. The biggest thing about Lunar is that it allows people to come together, and allowed me to boost my confidence as both an organizer and a dancer. I’ve grown in so many ways and have made so many meaningful connections to people not just of Asian heritage, but from all around the world.”

How have you personally been able to echo the senior voice in the preparatory process?

“Being able to witness my old seniors perform in the auditorium before COVID helped lead this year’s culture show in a better direction. Since both the current sophomores and juniors don’t know what it was like before Covid, being a senior has really helped shape the show into what it is meant to really represent.”

How do ASIA and Lunar navigate issues impacting the AAPI community in 2024? How have movements such as “Stop Asian Hate” impacted the way this show is put on and how your identity is shaped?

“Although Lunar doesn’t specifically mention these problems in the script, we have tried to be generally more inclusive to the cultures on campus. For example, this year we did V-Trad (Vietnamese traditional dance) because we have seen more Vietnamese identities on campus, which we want to include and represent. This year in the script, we tried to make [Carrisa’s] experiences as relatable to all kinds of people that face similar problems.”

Sophomore ASIA Representative – Kennedy Su

Through Lunar, what does ASIA hope to educate the IMSA community about? Are there any particular takeaways that you are aiming for?

“We want to express the varying uniqueness within our differing cultures. But we also want to show the beauty and to demonstrate our cultures and to share it with others within the IMSA community.

What challenges, if any, did you face during the planning stages, and how were they overcome?

“Ordering supplies for certain tech week events, planning for the decorations, and when to plan for certain things all have an important time aspect to it.”

How does ASIA and Lunar navigate issues impacting the AAPI community in 2024? How have movements such as “Stop Asian Hate” impacted the way this show is put on and how your identity is shaped?

“From my personal experience, I’ve dealt with racism, whether it was from past schools or on the streets of Chicago, and I think that the Stop Asian Hate movement has put a spotlight on the racism towards Asians […]. Lunar tries to demonstrate the hardships of facing bullying, but also the stereotypical pressure that a lot of Asians and kids in general deal with. ASIA hopes to hold more events that address the hate and racism towards Asians and marginalized groups in general.”

What is it like to be one of the sophomore voices on ASIA Board during the Lunar preparatory process?

“At the beginning of the year, as a sophomore, we tend to be more shy and quiet and during board meetings, we’re mainly listeners and take note of how meetings and events should work. As the semester wore on, our voices started to emerge and us sophomore reps started to do more work bit by bit until we started to take on our own tasks for Lunar. We’ve been able to participate on the majority of the committees whether it was food, tech week, or the script […]. I’m looking forward to the rest of my time here at IMSA.”

Closing Remarks

ASIA’s annual culture show is often regarded as one of the most, if not the most, difficult culture shows to host logistically. Given the extensive break including winter break and intersession spliced in between practice times, students find themselves struggling with stressful time management. As Jerrick Li said in our interview, “Though this year’s Lunar show has been extremely difficult to plan, choreograph, and practice for, the ASIA board has put a tremendous amount of effort into making it the best for everyone to share our love for our culture to all of IMSA.”

The ASIA board has done a tremendous job representing unique parts of various cultures throughout Lunar, as Kennedy Su had mentioned. This year’s Lunar Culture Show was incredible, and IMSA can’t wait to see what ASIA has in store for its next performance!


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