Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
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Feb. 14, 2007

"MAN" that was good

by Johanna Gretschel, Online Managing Editor
A lot of hype comes with the words "Magnet Arts Night." Rumors of auditions, cuts, "the list" and epic performances seem to fire like neurons through the 300s hallways in early February. And while the excitement may be contained upstairs, the whole school feels the after-effect of what is said to be one of the most impressive showcases at Blair. This year, Magnet Arts Night lived up to it all, making for a knock-out blend of new and old, tradition and modernity.

Senior Cyril Lan set the tone for Act I with a sweeping rendition of Franz Liszt's "Hungarian Rhapsodie #8 in F#" during the Prelude. Lan's intro to the show started softly, and gradually picked up speed and energy to produce a roller-coaster of emotion that somehow traveled from the tips of his fingers to the auditorium seats.

Next was the first act of Act I, the Senior Bhangra Dance, featuring senior Samarth Gola, Sparsh Gola, Rohit Gopal, Maanasi Mistry, Anjana Mohanty, Anjali Parekh and Amit Singal, who performed a traditional Indian dance. The group performed to a medley of upbeat songs, waving glittering scarves and bouncing around the stage with enough energy to ring through the next act, the Bruch Octet, which was intense enough to make you never question the excitement of chamber music again.

The modern side of Magnet Arts Night began to shine through with "Ft. Lbs." at the end of Act I. Decked out in white laboratory coats and large-framed black glasses, seniors Alice Fan, Rachel Lee, Bao Nguyen and Wenjia Zhu bounced around a box painted with the words "Ft. Lbs." while a nasal voice sang about foot pounds in the background (For you non-Magnets: a foot-pound is an English unit of work or force, equivalent to a joule). Seniors Samarth Gola, Brian Han and Isaiah Yoon and junior Anton Do, dressed in street-clothes, entered the stage from both sides to shake their heads at the "nerdy" girls. No sooner did the boys shake their heads than the girls stripped off their dorky attire and started shaking it to a medley of hip-hop songs, starting with "Shake" by the Ying-Yang Twins. The unexpected striptease elicited more than a few roars from the audience, but the girls quickly showed that their dancing skills were more than a joke. The act proved to be one of the best and most memorable of the night, especially after the boys joined in to bust a few break-dancing moves.

Act II opened with a bang with an ensemble performance of "Tank," by the Seatbelts. The song featured seven seniors, five juniors, three sophomores and a single (but brave!) freshman. The musicians were energetic and with their matching aviators, successfully invoked a jazzy atmosphere to match the song, and surprisingly synchronized, even in their large numbers.

One of the best acts of the night featured two Magnet teachers, John Kaluta and Robert Donaldson who provided guitar riffs and back-up vocals for senior Monika Chadda in "Driftin' Too Far From the Shore." The twanging guitar sounded like something out of "O Brother Where Art Thou" behind the smooth, soulful sound of Chadda's voice.

In case you thought Nsync was out, a group of magnet seniors (dubbed "ROCKTHISHOUSE") put together an act to prove you wrong. After a series of medleys and, yes, a group effort of "the worm," these guys ended their act by stripping off their matching button-down shirts to reveal "BYE BYE BLAIR!" written on the backs of their t-shirts.
Magnet students turn to silhouettes against a rainbow backdrop. Alex Lutz
Magnet students turn to silhouettes against a rainbow backdrop.

The night concluded with the senior act, "Born to be Wild," featuring what seemed to be about half of the Magnet class of 2007. The first portion of the act poked fun at the "origins of Magnet," mostly filled with inside jokes indecipherable to non-Magnets (analysis of algorithms and fish?), but well received by the supportive audience. The other half of the act was a song-and-dance routine to "Born to be Wild," and, while it was difficult to decipher anything coming from the speakers, the mere sight of senior Alex Hyder doing his own "grandpa dance" was enough to make any act hilarious.

As the last chords of "Born to Be Wild" blared from the amps, everyone in the show rushed the stage and danced in a mob; the Bhangra dancers, violinists and drummers all together in one entity, mixing tradition with modernity. As the Magnets danced, the lights changed to create a black silhouette, boldly contrasted against the rainbow-colored background before the curtains closed on a successful and captivating Magnet Arts Night 2007.

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  • =) on February 14, 2007 at 6:10 PM
    GOO FT. LBS!!!
  • Wenj on February 14, 2007 at 7:06 PM
    despite all the abuse i got from rachel. and alice.

    just kidding :)
  • Rachel on February 14, 2007 at 9:21 PM
    <33 to all the amazing MAN groups this year. it was the best last MAN... :'(

    wenj, i think you abused me more than i did you XDD
  • =] on February 14, 2007 at 10:07 PM
    omg totally loved Ft. Lbs!! that was so so cool! the senior act was awesome... SENIORS!!!!!
    great job MAN people!! really loved the show this year!!
  • Jon B on February 15, 2007 at 12:22 AM
    Thanks for making this an amazing night everyone. I'm going to remember this and all the performances 4Ever. Wish I had a date to go there with though.

    Hmmm...I'll put that on my To Do List for next year.
  • Feminist on February 15, 2007 at 10:00 AM
    It was amazing.

    Why doesn't the CAP have something like this?
  • 07 Magnet Audience Member on February 15, 2007 at 4:15 PM
    I was actually a bit disappointed by this year's MAN. Don't get me wrong - all of the acts were good, great even - but nothing really stood out as they have in years past. I was also a little freaked out by the almost-wardrobe malfunction that happened during the Chinese scarf dance...

    Anyway, this article gives some pretty decent coverage of the highlights of the night, thought I suspect it'll receive the traditional backlash from excluded and indignant Magnets. My only problem was that you forgot to mention the emcees!
  • Nit Picker/Magnet Dork on February 15, 2007 at 4:44 PM
    A foot pound isn't equivalent to a joule. It's actually 0.74 of a joule.

    But the act was still awesome!
  • Chao on February 16, 2007 at 12:43 PM
    "how do you measure energy? FOOT POUNDS FOOT POUNDS~~"
  • byebyebye fan on February 18, 2007 at 8:56 AM
    not to mention, byebyebye kicked butt...DK DONKEY KONGGGGG!!!!
  • THE TRUTH on February 18, 2007 at 9:31 AM
  • angry! on February 18, 2007 at 1:47 PM
    um what about the martial arts??
  • Feminist on February 18, 2007 at 5:26 PM
    How did Magnet Arts Night suck, pray tell?
  • <33 on February 19, 2007 at 12:45 PM
    loved it all, from beginning to end. <33
  • iloveyou! on March 4, 2007 at 8:36 PM
    i agree with Feminist
    CAP should have something like this
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