Fusion 2004

    This Sunday, on the oddly alliterative date April 4, 2004 (04/04/04), the 5th annual, highly-acclaimed Fusion hip-hop dance competition will kick off once again at UCSD. Eight teams from all over California will compete for the coveted first place position, and an additional nine acts will perform independent exhibitions at the competition, treating all in attendance to a full evening of high-energy entertainment.

    Simply put, Fusion is the largest student-run event at UCSD. The 2003 Fusion competition had more than 2,000 people flood through the RIMAC Arena doors. Rivaling the A.S.-sponsored concerts FallFest and WinterFest in scope, Fusion will take over RIMAC Arena to cater an audience numbering in the thousands. But unlike A.S. concerts, there aren’t any administrators pulling strings.

    No, the responsibility for California’s most recognized hip-hop competition rests solely on two UCSD student organizations, the Multi-Asian Student Association and the Second-to-None (220) dance team. Five years ago, MASA and 220 started the competition to share their love of hip-hop dance and culture and to promote community outreach.

    The organizers of Fusion have set high goals for themselves this year in trying to celebrate the diverse Pan-Asian culture, but the competing teams have also set a goal of their own: to win. In the increasingly competitive world of hip-hop dance, fueled by the publicity caused by films such as “You Got Served,” every competitive dance team must fight ruthlessly to stay on top. And, as Fusion has been established as Southern California’s premiere competition, advancing to the national level requires nothing less than first place. It’s going to be a cutthroat competition, so be on the lookout for some amazing moves as the competitors pull out all the stops, get down with their bad selves, and do whatever it takes to win the judges’ favor.

    And even though some teams aren’t competing, they will still be in top form. Event hosts 220 will perform one of the featured exhibitions, as will visiting artists Cleanup Crew with their “Stomp” influenced cacophony.

    But apart from a stellar night of high-caliber performances, there is a greater message at work. As the largest Asian-directed event at UCSD, Fusion is part of a greater effort on the part of MASA to recognize a Pan-Asian identity for Asian youth at UCSD and is only one of the cultural celebrations the group holds every year. Composed of members from many diverse cultures with many diverse traditions, MASA strives to celebrate the diversity of the UCSD community in harmony.

    Which is where Fusion comes in. Over the course of the show, audiences will be treated to celebrations of many cultures, be they Asian or otherwise, in the hopes that the audience will leave the event with something more than a head full of catchy tunes and a night full of amazing choreography burned onto their retinas.

    Tickets for the show are $12 presale at the UCSD Box Office, $13 from Ticketmaster and $15 at the door. RIMAC doors open at 5 p.m. The show starts at 6 p.m. For more information about tickets, directions and line-up, visit http://fusion04.tk.

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