Arts Count 2018: A Platform for Passion

(Connor Gorry / The Triton)

On Friday, February 2, the art community at UC San Diego held its annual Arts Count event. This event allows artists to perform and showcase their art, whether it be dance, instrumentation, or comedy.

The show was kicked off by the welcoming and energetic hosts, Paulina To and Rey Fernandez, both of whom were involved in dance performances during the show. The hosts have been performers in previous Arts Count shows, and stated that the purpose of the event was to “appreciate and love all forms of art.”

Here are some of the show’s highlights:

The first showcase was a Japanese drumming group named Asayake Taiko. Their performance began with strong, synchronized hits onto enormous bass drums.The group then switched to a smaller ensemble with a flute and smaller drums. This piece began with a solo flute playing a beautiful melody that mimicked nature and bird songs, contrasted with drums resembling that of a heartbeat. Though the tempo was quick, the music gave off an overall relaxing tone. Towards the end of the piece, the hits against the drums intensified, and relaxation turned into empowerment as the group’s performance came to an abrupt silence.

UCSD’s first and only male acapella group, Frequency, gave an amazing performance. As for their second piece, the group performed a medley of old Disney songs. The song began with “The Circle of Life,” and included songs from The Little Mermaid, Mulan, and other iconic Disney movies. It gave the college audience a comforting sense of nostalgia.

To finish the night off, dance groups Supa Hot Pocketz and Kidz Next Door both gave hip hop dance performances that showcased the moves of all the dancers on the teams. Both teams were quick and reacted to the music as if it were the first time their bodies had listened to music. It was almost like their bodies were the instrument creating music. Their sharp and powerful movements were the strong drum beats in the song and their smooth moves created the treble.

In addition, the night included a set of Kelly Lien’s paintings, which was tragically overlooked. Lien’s artwork, a depiction of calmness, was a serene scene with beautiful yellows.

Though the show had many highlights, it lacked a sense of professionality. It was clear that the hosts were not prepared, as seen through many awkward moments and transitions between acts. The event also gave a feeling of exclusivity, with many inside jokes that were bounced around from host to host. In addition, the night was exclusively focused on music and dance; the one set of paintings that was exhibited was hardly mentioned and sadly did not receive the attention it deserved. All in all, it was a good attempt to showcase different forms of art, but it fell a bit short. Arts Count is an important showcase for this college campus; I want nothing more than for it to grow and flourish. I suppose we’ll wait one more year.

Helen Castellon is a staff writer for the Arts & Culture section of The Triton.