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Join Harford Community College at Kaleidoscope of Cultures on Thursday, November 21, at 6 PM in the Chesapeake Theater to celebrate International Education Week 2013. This event, designed to broaden participants’ global perspective, will feature outstanding performances by culturally diverse artists with free, interactive workshops led by the performers. This year’s Kaleidoscope features Greek dancers, Polynesian performers, and the Chinese Lion Dance.

The Demetrakia Dance Troupe from St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Baltimore preserves the Greek culture through traditional folk dances and music. There are more than 200 ancient Greek dances for all kinds of celebrations. The troupe will provide a sampling of dances from areas such as Thrace, Pontos, Macedonia, Ikaria, Crete, Rhodes, Epirus, Kalymnos, Kalamata, or Peloponnesus.

Ohana Polynesia will perform the Hula, the traditional art of fluid movement, smooth bodily gestures, and vocals. There are variations in Polynesian cultures, but Hula remains rooted as a structured, sacred art that embodies ancestral history, wars, heroes, divinities, and ceremonies. Ohana will share stories from Hawaii, Tahiti, and New Zealand.

The Wong People will perform the Lion Dance, an ancient ritual used to drive away evil spirits or bad energy. The skill of mastering control of one’s chi (internal energy) requires years of arduous training and study. The Lion dance costume is specifically designed to drive away evil; every component has a purpose and significance. The musicians, who play the ancient Chinese instruments (drum, gong, and cymbals), are another integral component of the ritual, as are the spectators. The Lion ritual is successful when all three components – the Lion, the musicians, and spectators – are synchronized in directing the flow of their chi to drive away the bad energy.

Kaleidoscope of Cultures is part of HCC’s celebration of International Education Week, a joint initiative of the US Departments of State and Education to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. Each November, Harford Community College joins institutions from over 100 countries around the world in celebrating International Education Week. This annual initiative, first held in 2000, aims to promote international understanding and build support for international educational exchange by encouraging the development of programs that prepare Americans to live and work in a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study in the United States. You can find out more about International Education Week at http://eca.state.gov/programs-initiatives/international-education-week/  

Tickets for a Kaleidoscope of Cultures are $3 for adults and free with an HCC ID or anyone under age 18. Tickets are available for purchase at tickets.harford.edu, 443-412-2211, or at the door. Proceeds benefit the HCC Foundation, Inc. Scholarship for International Students. For additional information, contact Stephanie Hallock at 443-412-2262.

Reasonable accommodations for a documented disability may be requested by calling Disability Support Services, 443-412-2402, in advance of participation. A minimum notice of 10 working days may be needed to provide some accommodations.

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