34th Annual Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Festival in Flushing

Photo by Peter Zhao

By William Kustiono

On May 4, 2013, AsianInNY joined collaboration with Asian American and Pacific Islander Festival (AAPI) to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage at Queens Mall, Flushing. AAPI is celebrating its 34th anniversary on the first week of May. A few elected officials also took their time attending the Heritage Festival including Comptroller John Liu, Councilman Peter Koo, and Assemblyman Ron Kim.

Photo by Peter Zhao

AAPI has purpose to treasure the strength, beauty, and wisdom of Asian cultures. They have dedicated themselves to gather and unify the diverse Asian and Asian American groups. They also aimed to provide the NY community with wonderful social, cultural, and educational programs that will increase people’s awareness of Asian and Asian American issues.

Comptroller John Liu. Photo credit Peter Zhao

AsianInNY has set up a booth in front of the stage in the Heritage Festival. We are aiming to increase our members in the community and build a networking event to connect people in New York City and its surrounding areas. AsianInNY also collaborated with AAPI to promote and to organize the event.

Photo credit Peter Zhao

In this exciting event, there were numerous exciting performances available. We have many exciting performers including singers, dancers and live bands in the festival. We also have talents coming from outside New York City performing in this festival. Do not forget to take pictures because these performances are epic and entertaining.

The Hsu-Nami. Photo by Vincent Wei

The Hsu-Nami, The renowned fusion rock composing “Erhu” and rock band has arrived to enrich the festival. The Hsu-Nami is using “Erhu”, a Chinese classical instrument and modern rock band creating fusion style music. The Hsu-Nami music has achieved an international community. Its music was featured in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing as the main theme of Chinese Basketball Team. Fans of rock music should not miss this opportunity to listen to the amazing rock “Erhu”.

Viennie V and DJ K Ho. Photo by Peter Zhao

Our next performers coming from Los Angeles are Viennie V and DJ K Ho, Viennie V is an Asian American singer, songwriter, and dancer. She had a major debut in 2011. She has released two albums and toured with many famous artists throughout United States. Her lates album, “Whatever Happens”, was featured in this festival. These two performers are different from other club DJs that you have listened.

Austin Luu. Photo credit: Peter Zhao

The young and talented Austin Luu performing Indie, Pop, and R&B music. Some quick background about Austin Luu, he is a 19-year-old Chinese-American singer songwriter originally from Bethel, CT. He is currently attending Queens College. He has performed live in front of the audience. And he is looking to release an acoustic EP in the future. He is an extraordinary person, he learned everything by himself and it takes a lot of courage to perform well in front of the audience. His music was very smooth and soothing to listen.

Beatrice Go, also known as Bea Go, is a 19 year-old Filipino American singer from Westchester. She becomes a rising star after she came in as a final vocal competitor for Kollaboration New York 2012. Since Kollaboration, she has started singing in her Youtube channel and remarkably picked up 10,000 subscribers. When you listen to the lyrics of her songs, there is a deep meaning contained inside, she wants to inspire people to believe in yourselves and follow your passion.

Setsuko. Photo by Vincent Wei

Setsuko, A Japanese pop singer/songwriter. Her passion in music has made a great progress in American music industry. Her newest single “If you believe in yourself” will be released in May. She passionately singing and performing dance in the festival, we hope to see her becomes a rising star in the future.

Taejo, he is a rapper/DJ/Producer with styles in Electronic, Hip Hop, and Rock. He is a talented rapper who gets inspired by visual challenges such as drawing and sculpting. He gets the idea for his songwriting from poetry. In the festival, he showed several new previews of his unreleased songs to the audience. The lyrics was fascinating and touching to listen.

In order to make sure the audiences are fully entertained, there were other performances other than music and singing. The other performances are Chinese, Korean, and Indian Dances. And to make it more great there are demonstrations of Taiko drum, Kung Fu, and Taekwondo.

Spring Swallow Dance Troupe. Photo credit: Peter Zhao

Spring Swallow Dance Troupe, a group of Chinese dance group performing traditional Chinese dance. If you guys know about the Chinese dances, you should watch and see the performances by these young dancers. And if you are new to the Chinese dances, do not worry, sit tight and enjoy the show. Two of the students April Xu and Mandy Xiang in the Spring Swallow Dance Troupe got 3rd places at the American Youth Talent Contest 2011 and 2012. WOW, their dance was magnificent, a lot of the audience feel entertained by the flexibility movement in the dance. Dance Teacher Ms. Ashley Liang is an Executive Board and Dance Choreographer of Yangtze Repertory Theater of America.

Ajna Dance. Photo credit Peter Zhao

Fans of Bollywood dances should watch this performance, Ajna Dance Company performed Indian Dance – Bollywood & Classical. They are a performance company focused on Classical Indian, Bollywood and Indian folk dance. The music and the dance is very alluring. This is slightly different from the Bollywood movie, you will not see the whole Queens Mall flash mobbing Indian dance but only several dancers are performing.

I Love Dance. Photo by Peter Zhao

For those Kpop and Hip-Hop enthusiasts this must not be missed. I Love Dance, the biggest and fabulous Kpop and Hip-Hop Dance group in NYC. I Love Dance performance has brought a Korean culture to the festival. Their dance is fantastic and well presented. We can see a lot of audience were waiting for this dance group to come over and perform. I Love Dance also offers dancing classes to people who would like to learn and enjoy dancing Hip-Hop.

Soh Daiko, a New York based Japanese taiko drumming group comprised of 10-12 Japanese and Asian American performers. Much more than mere percussion, Soh Daiko’s presentation also features the visual element of movement and choreography, requiring physical strength, endurance, and energy that makes taiko such an exciting performance experience. We would love to see youngsters performing the Taiko in the stage. The performance was really amusing and entertaining at the same time.

WuTang Kung Fu. Photo by Peter Zhao

WuTang Kung Fu is a traditional martial arts school that emphasizes the usefulness and power or kung fu. The Wu Tang School is part of an international organization that has been advancing asian culture in New York and around the country for over 25 years. The participants of this school are not limited to adults. There were several children as practicing kung fu and performing well in the stage. We can see the children have a talent for kung fu and they can be developed into a great practitioner in the future.

Taikoza uses Japanese taiko drums, Japanese traditional dances and the soulful bamboo flutes to create a energetic performance. / Taikoza hits the stage with a high-energy performance of traditional and original Japanese tunes featuring the soulful bamboo flutes and an amazing array of ancestral Taiko drums. Although the audience were not allowed to participate in the Taiko drumming but the audience still enjoyed the performance.

Blue Dragon Demo Team. Photo by Vincent Wei

Blue Dragon Demo Team is a Taekwondo Demo team performing out of Brooklyn, NY. Our goal is to preserve the traditions of Taekwondo and spread the benefits and philosophy of South Korea’s National sport. This Taekwondo team was very entertaining, they allowed the audience to participate in breaking the boards. They also gave us a small training for children at stage.

Gao’s Kung Fu Academy trains its students in modern and traditional kungfu/wushu, with it’s roots in TongBei Quan, though many different styles are practiced. Students learn empty-handed forms, fighting forms, as well as the four basic weapons: staff, sword, broadword and spear. There are some young practitioners who started early age and performed well during the festival. The senior trainer was teaching the audience the real kung fu is different from the movie one. The real one involves a series of techniques that allows us to quickly disarm our opponents.

RESOBOX. Photo by Vincent Wei

Japanese Samurai Swordsmanship performance from RESOBOX, a Japanese culture space in New York. Traditionally trained martial artist, Deborah Klens-Bigman will perform with her students. In the stage, she clearly explained every swordsmanship techniques and the meaning behind each of them. The performance was well played and this gave audience an idea about how important swordsmanship during the samurai era in Japan.

Richard Lui. Photo credit Peter Zhao

In the closing part of the festival, we have a special guest, Richard Lui, a journalist and an anchor at NBC’s Early today. He was in the festival to discuss about the current development of the Asian community. As he know, the Asian community is growing rapidly but the government spend few money to support the community. In here, he also discussed about the solution with the audiences on how to gain more funding for the community in the future.

There will be another 34th Annual Asian American & Pacific Islander festival in Chinatown, Manhattan area on May 18th 2013. Mark your calendar and make sure to attend this event because there will be more performances coming up to this festival. The place is located at Confucius Plaza and Yung Wing School (PS 124). The event starts from 11:00am-6:00pm.

This is the list of stage performances in the Festival: http://www.capaonline.org/2013-festival/schedules/

Photo by Vincent Wei

Photo by Peter Zhao

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