Expressing Your Culture through Dance

Dance as a cultural bridge is an idea that prevails on many campuses and beyond.

I recently received an alumni e-mail from Boston University, where I went to undergrad. The e-mail was from Boston University’s alumni magazine, Bostonia featured a vibrant cameo of a student donned in tradiational Indian garb that beckoned me to click on the accompanying link.

Body language

My browser opened to an incredibly visual web piece called “Body Language,” featuring dynamic photos of dancers against brilliantly lit hues of purples and greens. The piece profiles five multicultural dance troupes and their stories, what each group represents, and what significance the culture brings to the crew’s dance.

It was a stunning piece that showcased the zest and life of multicultural activity, and a revelation of dance as a common, yet powerful medium to explore the intricacies and stories of multiculturalism. In fact, dance as a cultural bridge is an idea that prevails on many campuses and beyond.


Northeastern University’s International Student & Scholar Institute dedicates nearly two months to multicultural expression in Carnevale.Replete with global dance performances to “International Idol”, NU’s international student rendition of America’s talent show hit, Carnevale is another spectacular celebration of diversity and internationalism on college campuses.


While not college or university-based, the Chameleon project  is one such performance with the very mission to explores such notions as home, identitiy, and relationships in a multicultural context. Performed by New York City–based dance troupe, A.H. Dance Company.

“Chameleon” challenges the boundaries of traditional dance performance by marrying different mediums of expression in one piece to convey what it means to be a global nomad.

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About Yumi Araki

Yumi Araki

In 2006, Yumi Araki flew from her home city of Tokyo, Japan to attend Boston University with high ambitions. As an aspiring journalist, she spent a semester abroad in London, learning from BBC correspondents and interning at British publications. Although her graduation year coincided with the onset of economical turmoil, Yumi resolved not to let her education go to waste. She has put her journalism degree to use as an associate producer—writing scripts, shooting, and editing science documentaries for Boston Science Communications, Inc. The industry demands jacks-of-all-trades, so along the way Yumi has also become an impromptu interpreter/translator/production manager/wardrobe and make-up coordinator. When she’s not daydreaming of Jameriland (a figment of Yumi’s imagination that melds all the best parts of Japan, America, and England), Yumi likes to pretend she’s a professional photographer, or falls asleep with the Kindle on her face. She also contributes to New England’s cultural blog,

You can follow Yumi on Twitter or subscribe to her CollegeXpress blog


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