By Caroline Liu
A standard fixture at AHS, the World Languages Talent Show is an exciting event that students in foreign language classes look forward to each year.
This year’s show received rave reviews from both teachers and students who attended the talent show on Dec. 19 or viewed the video of the show during class.
A variety of performances represented the multifaceted aspects of the French, Spanish and Chinese cultures. One performer, sophomore Colin Yeo, produced and presented a video of himself spray painting a mural of Quetzalcoatl, a Mesoamerican deity. Yeo is enrolled in a Spanish 3 class and is president of the Street Art Club.
Yeo’s video was accompanied by a sample of Kanye West’s song “Bound 2,” about which Yeo jokingly described, “Many kids considered that to be the best part. Clearly they cannot comprehend the impressive aerosol work that I was displaying. But I’m just kidding of course, somewhat.”
Sophomore Miles Saxty also performed in the show as a French 2 student. He and other students sang to Mulan’s “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” in French. The performance was also intended to poke fun at stereotypes of the French, in that the performers wore stripes and mustaches while fighting with baguettes.
“Well, my performance was nothing special and considering how bad I am at singing and stage presence, my only hope was to be funny,” Saxty said. “It was funnier so that’s okay.”
Behind the scenes, French teacher Denise Labarre played a pivotal role in supporting the director of the talent show, Spanish teacher Teri Olsen. Labarre was involved in the audition process of selecting the performers, as well as coaching and encouraging them.
“Although I was the director, all of our colleagues worked together,” said Olsen, who was chosen to direct the talent show because of her experience in live theater.
This was AHS’ tenth World Languages Talent Show. Only a few of the department’s teachers have been here since then. “I have been involved since the beginning,” Labarre said.
The teachers thought the show would be “something that would be fun to do,” according to Olsen.
Students enrolled in world language classes attend the show for a block period. The performances take place in the little theater.
Overall, Yeo says that the show was “quite a modest, not glamorous, production,” except for the video with Mandarin students dancing, which Yeo claims was produced quite well.
“[It was a] good showcase of talent,” Saxty said.
From a teacher’s perspective, Labarre concurred. “This year’s show was terrific,” Labarre said, noting that the French performances were especially strong. She was “proud of their interest and ability to communicate in creative ways.”
Director Olsen was also happy with the outcome.“I thought it was wonderful. It’s different every year,” said Olsen, “[There are] a great, talented group of students…they are to be commended.”