By Hannah Fierle, For The Miami Student
This Saturday, in Miami University's Hall Auditorium, a medley of cultural performances will become a reality when the Global Rhythms World Music ensemble presents "Windmills of Our Minds."
The Global Rhythms World Music ensemble is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, which it will honor in October with a second performance of the dynamic and energetic show. Among other acts, the performance highlights include Nino De Los Reyes, a Spanish flamenco group, Sheejith Krishna's dance theatre company from India which features an adaptation of Cervantes' Don Quixote, the Slivovitz Ensemble, featuring a gypsy electro-jazz ensemble from Italy and Brazilian rap duo Pat Klemawesch and Pat Hernly.
"The show is a huge melting pot of cultural diversity. You have acts from different places around the world all culminating on one stage and the result is spectacular," said junior Chandni Chandiramani, project coordinator. "This is one of very few places in the world where you can see so much diverse passion coming together on one stage."
"It's amazing how different these passionate artists can be in their own domains but yet so open to collaboration with things they have never experienced. This show is like nothing else," Chandiramani said.
With over a hundred performers taking the stage at Miami, the performance is unique because of the magnitude and diversity of the different groups represented. The performers come from not only different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, but also many different disciplines of art - dancing, singing, theatre, mime and everything in between. "Windmills of Our Minds" offers an eclectic, dynamic mix of talents and performances.
"Creatively speaking, it is so unique in that it breaks all the boundaries that divide us as people … namely, boundaries of language, of culture, of nations. When you're watching the performance, not only are you expanding your own perspective on music and art, the performers you're watching are doing the same thing," said senior Avnika Bali.
While the show's performers come from diverse cultures, backgrounds and theatrical disciplines, Miami students have found a way to get involved in this unique performance.
A few high-level Spanish students were asked to read from Cervantes's Don Quixote as an introduction to the dance performance.
The readings from Don Quixote are bilingual, so the students will read excerpts in Spanish with translations and explanations in English. The readings are structured to give context to the dance performance and connect Spanish and Indian cultures.
"Since it will be done through dance, having us summarize it right before will help the audience to know what is going on," said Lauren Robbins, one of the student speakers. "Since we will be reading some in Spanish, the audience will also get some cultural aspects. It is such an important work in the Spanish culture so using the language will help convey the importance."
The global perspective of the performance is reflected in Miami students' roles, as their bilingual reading exemplifies the blending of cultures, including their own.
"These types of performances show how small the world is in a sense of being able to connect with people from all over simply from a text taken from the seventeenth century," said Lainey Viau, one of the students speaking. "It is quite beautiful when people can connect on such a level."
The first performance will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26. A second, anniversary performance will take place on Saturday, Oct. 17 during Family Weekend. Both performances will be in Hall Auditorium. Tickets are available at the box office in Shriver Center for the cost of $8 students/youth, $10 general and $15 balcony.