IUB hosts auditions

By Christina Merced

The Illini Union Board will host auditions for “Culture Shock” in the Illini Union Ballroom from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Thursday.

Culture Shock is an annual event that will take place on an undecided evening in February throughout the Union, in areas such as the Courtyard Cafe and the South Lounge. This event is said to be similar to Illinites because it contains diverse performances and games; however, “Culture Shock,” which usually has about 2,000 to 3,000 attendees, presents a sampling of diverse foods and a cultural fashion show. The auditions are to secure performances for this large event.

Lance Wright, assistant director of the Illini Union, said “Culture Shock” began about eight years ago.

The program started between Together Encouraging the Appreciation of Multiculturalism, a registered student organization, and the Union Board because there was a need on campus for the awareness of diverse cultures, Wright said.

The program was established to promote the diversity among the students and join together numerous organizations on campus to promote ideals of multiculturalism.

The auditions are open to the public, but some potential performers have already signed up during the informational night for “Culture Shock.” People can send e-mails to add their names to the list, or they can audition as a walk-in, according to the Culture Shock committee.

Each audition will last about one minute and is simply to “get a glimpse of what (performers are) doing,” said Ritu Parikh, Culture Shock committee member and co-chair for Together Encouraging the Appreciation of Multiculturalism.

Also, the auditions are held as early as November to give performers enough time to perfect their performances, which can range anywhere from singing soulful a capella tunes to performing an energetic salsa dance to demonstrating complex karate combinations.

The committee said that usually larger registered student organizations are dominant on stage throughout the evening, but there are a number of non-RSO related individuals who showcase their talents and diverse cultures on stage as well.

Performing at Culture Shock is a way “to bring less-publicized groups to campus,” said Shoaa Ansari, Illini Union Board committee chair and sophomore in LAS.