Cultural Event

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ACS 200
Cultural Event #1

02/05/02

Scissors, Paper, Rock!

For my first cultural event of this semester, I attended the University Performing Dancers rendition of "Scissors, Paper, Rock!". This dance performance took place in the Eva Marie Saint Theatre in University Hall here on campus. This performance is considered a cultural event because the game Rock, Paper, Scissors is an ancient game that many different cultures have claimed to invent.

According to the program handed out at the performance, Japan has claimed its origins in Janken or Roe, Sham, Boe (Rock, Paper, Scissors). The game is called Muk-chee Bah in Korea. Renditions of the hand game are also played in Indonesia, Austria, France, Canada, Yugoslavia, and elsewhere.

All these different cultures have claims to have invented the game, and it is such a popular game, somebody made a modern dance performance related to the certain aspects that Scissors, Paper, and Rock have. Scissors, cold, cutting, slicing. Paper, light, soft, airy. Rock, pebble, hard, stone. These are some of the adjectives the narrator used in the performance.

There were six different dances in the performance, each one different in their own cultural way. Dances like "Oshun, Goddess of Love" were based on actual beliefs. Oshun is the goddess of the rivers, fertility, abundance, and love among the Yoruba people of Nigeria. The dance is a creative exploration of the meaning of Oshun as a force of nature. Other dances performed such as "Paper Moon" are attempts to shape the timelessness found in play, such as ritual, and performance.

Different dances came from different cultures in this performance. As I had said before, "Oshun, Goddess of Love", came from Africa. It arrived in America during the slave trade and has been here ever since. "Paper Moon" came from Japan. The text from the...
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