The 31st International Fair talent show exploded with dance, comedy, skits and song in Harbach Theater on Jan. 28.
The show, whose acts came from around the globe, drew a packed house of Knox students, professors and Galesburg residents.
The performance began with the I-Fair flag parade. Students carried in the flag that represented their nation, said a word of greeting in the country’s language while facts about the country were projected behind them and then took their place with the other flag bearers onstage.
After every country was on the stage, President Teresa Amott and her partner, Ray Miller, brought in the Knox flag and welcomed the crowd to the talent show.
“I’m only patriotic when I’m abroad,” freshman Peter Buiting said. He carried the flag for his home country, the Netherlands.
He enjoyed giving the greeting for his country in Dutch, since he knew he was saying something that almost no one would understand. Dutch, he said, was not widely learned, like Chinese or Spanish.
“I didn’t swear, I didn’t say anything stupid,” Buiting said, but “I could get away with anything.”
It was Buiting’s first year at I-Fair, and he enjoyed the acts, some of which were “positively stunning.”
It was also the first I-Fair for the talent show’s host, freshman Jan Rondina. The acts’ improvement just in the last week of rehearsals amazed him. The audience’s positivity also impressed him and gave him more confidence.
“I was expecting the worst,” he said.
Although the show had some technical difficulties in the beginning, the enthusiasm of all the performers ironed over any difficulties.
There were two skits, a song and a standup act, but most of the acts were dances. The dances were all very different. There was Azonto dancing from Ghana by “Kwesi & Group,” Irish Step (to MGMT’s “Kids”) from Gaelic Fire and belly dancing to Arabic translations of Disney songs from the Oriental Hipsters Exec.
Performance organizer and sophomore Marika Takemura was very happy with how the performance turned out. She thought the organization was “less hectic” than previous years and was happy about how the event “engaged” with the Knox and Galesburg communities.
Brian Prescott, a Galesburg resident, had heard about the International Fair before, but this was his first year attending.
He liked being exposed to all the different styles of music, dance and dress that were present, but he especially liked sophomore Jillian Somera’s performance of the Filipino folk song “Anak.”
“It was good to hear a song in a different language,” he said.
He brought his five-year-old son to the fair so he could learn about other cultures. Prescott said he planned on coming again next year.
“It’s good for my son,” Prescott said.