By Amber Hoffman
InternA creative rebellion is scheduled to take place at this year’s 10th annual FUSION Hip-Hop Dance Competition. The event, hosted by UCSD’s Multi-Asian Student Union (MASA) and San Diego’s 220 Second to None dance team, will be held at UCSD’s RIMAC Arena at 6 p.m. April 19.
The theme for this year’s event, “Creative Rebellion,” is left somewhat open to interpretation, according to FUSION coordinators, but they view the event as an opportunity to break Asian stereotypes and spread Asian-American cultural awareness through the hip-hop medium.
“Asians in general have been stereotyped as passive and pursuing the maths and sciences,” FUSION coordinator Vivian Lin said. “But lately, there’s been this explosion of young Asian-Americans in the creative arts and sciences. We’d like to showcase how our generation is going against previously established cultural norms in a nonviolent manner.”
FUSION, one of the largest hip-hop dance competitions in Southern California, invites dancers of all ages and ethnicities from across the country to perform in one of three capacities: competitive, exhibition or cultural exhibition.
Ten teams from across California will compete in this year’s FUSION. The teams include Team Millennia, from Orange County; NSU Modern, from UCLA; and Choreo Cookies, last year’s FUSION winners from Oceanside. The top three teams will take home cash prizes of $1,000, $500 and $300, respectively. Seven exhibition teams will also perform at FUSION, including 220 Second to None and MASA’s own noncompetitive team, KunFUSION. The FUSION coordinators chose the teams based on their audition tapes. Teams were chosen by their originality, creativity and crowd appeal.
The success of FUSION rests entirely on the diligence of the college students in MASA and 220 Second to None who have spent months planning the event.
“The show itself has grown so much,” said FUSION’s production manager, Nelson Llorin. “It would be challenging to do it as a full-time job, let alone as students.”
The four coordinators - Abe Chung, Justine Mercado, Kathy Fan and Lin - began planning FUSION in December. Fan and Lin are members of MASA, while Chung and Mercado are members of 220 Second to None. The coordinators share responsibilities and meet several times a week and oversee eight committees, composed of approximately 100 volunteers who handle different areas of the production.
Last year’s FUSION set records when tickets sold out days in advance and was attended by more than 3,000 people. FUSION is expected to sell out in advance again this year. FUSION coordinators partially attribute the popularity of last year’s competition to the success of MTV’s reality show, “America’s Next Best Dance Crew.”
UCSD human biology major Phillip Armendi attended FUSION in 2008 and is planning to attend again this year.
“It’s an entertaining event that’s jam-packed with people from UCSD and all over the state,” Armendi said. “The venue is the perfect place to have a dance competition. You feel like you’re not very removed from the dancers.”
FUSION won “Event of the Year” last year at the annual V-ENT Dance Awards.
RIMAC Arena’s doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the show starts at 6 p.m., with a scheduled three- to four-hour run time. Tickets are $19 for UCSD students and $23 for the public. Tickets may be bought at the UCSD Price Center Box Office and at boxoffice.ucsd.edu. No tickets will be available for purchase at the door.
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Amber Hoffman is a senior at Point Loma Nazarene University