Talent Show Dazzlers Put Smiles on Students? Faces

Michael Konigsberg
El Vaquero Staff Writer

Singers and dancers brought well-received dash of color and animation to Plaza Vaquero on Thursday in the Associated Students-sponsored Talent Show.

The hour-long show featured a collection of entertainers who, if not diverse in their offerings, were energetic in engaging the crowd of about 100. Folk-inspired crooners and guitarists, covering either classic favorites or performing their original material, alternated with soulful singers who delivered both pop radio singles and original ballads.

Performers competed for three cash prizes, awarded on points of appearance, energy and overall performance.

The flamboyant Sahar Sajedi was by far the least shy of the vocalists, doing an impassioned rendition of Alicia Keyes’s current hit, “Fallin’.” Her enthusiastic performance brought her third place, the prize which consisted of $20 and a teddy bear with a mug.

Dancers made rare but appreciated appearances, eliciting whoops and cat-calls. Daniela Davies’ belly dancing near the top of the show was a particular crowd-pleaser. One male spectator described her fluid gyrations, accented by a brilliant blue skirt, belly chain and cherry-streaked hair, as “passionate.”

The two-member dancing team Mirror Image came in second with $50 for its original hip-hop choreography and popular urban dance culture outfits.

Pianist Verne Jensen took first place-and the $100 prize-for his virtuosic playing of Scott Joplin’s “Maple Leaf Rag.” Prefacing the “Rag,” he apologized for having to deliver his performance on an old electric keyboard instead of the “real” piano he had been promised. He obviously overcame the setback.

A.S. Vice President of Campus Activities Ronny Hovanessian coordinated the event. He said he believed it had been about seven years since a campus talent show had been held, which is why he decided to present this entertainment for students.

“It’s easy enough just to get performers to do an event, but this was hard work,” he said of the show’s two months’ preparation. “We wanted to give something back to the students.”

Hovanessian credited his planning committee-Connie Navasartian, Alina Azizian, Ani Melik-Petrosyan and Robert Novshadyan-for its commitment to organizing the show.

He said things came together well and was grateful for the pleasant weather. He said the good student turnout would encourage him to consider organizing more activities.

“I’d like to do more . to create more of a community or family among GCC students,” he said.