It all started with a fire. Well, it wasn’t exactly a fire, although the heat of an inferno would have been nice as a group of at least 100 stood expectantly outside of Paul Brest Hall in the brisk autumn night. They were waiting for the final part of IDX (Identity Xpression), a two-day event jointly hosted by Lambda Phi Epsilon and the Residential Arts Program intended to promote awareness of and engender an appreciation for the diversity on the Stanford campus. As the hopeful spectators stood cold, this goal was likely not on anybody’s minds; their awareness of cultural diversity was replaced by a groan-inducing joke that proliferated through the crowd: “I guess the Poreotics were too hot to handle.”
Luckily for everyone, the rest of the night was not nearly as tragic as that quip–quite the contrary, in fact: organizers had to turn some people away from the “jam-packed” venue (presumably because they did not want to tempt the fire gods). After everyone had settled in, Poreotics kicked off the proceedings with their mechanically smooth brand of dance-art. Amazing displays of creativity combined with flourishes of humor–their finale was an extended number set to a calypso version of “Baby Got Back”–proved they deserved MTV’s title of America’s Best Dance Crew.
After Poreotics cleared the stage, a parade of Stanford students showcased their talents in 10 minute-long sets. First up was Raagapella, who performed two trademark arrangements that emphasized their diverse influences in both Asian and Western popular music. Next, the hip-hop dance group Dv8 exploded onto the stage; they surprised the audience with a number set to an unaltered version of OneRepublic’s “Secrets.” After that group cleared, two poets read two very different poems, both with the theme of “queer liberation”: one a passionate invective against Nicki Minaj’s recanting of her bisexuality, one a call to arms for all queers with a voice. Snaps gave way to applause for these two as Alliance took the stage; their unique blend of dance styles providing a fitting end to the night.
Organizers were emphatic that they hoped to continue the IDX tradition in the future, and judging by their success, they likely will be able to. Perhaps next year’s event can focus on situational comedy. That would bring people together, even if the show were too hot to handle.