Worldvision excites Colby with multilingual song and dance

Last Thursday night, students and faculty crowded into Ostrove Auditorium to see a show put on by a rare group of performers: Colby’s language classes. A tradition stretching back for almost a decade, Worldvision is an annual event where Colby’s modern language students sing and dance to songs from their language’s culture. Modeled after the international Eurovision Song Contest, Colby’s Worldvision calls upon each language to compete for the best performance. With the winner earning a year’s worth of bragging rights and an engraving on the Worldvision trophy, competition is always fierce between the contesting groups.

Worldvision blends entertainment with education for both the participants and the audience. Each performance is judged on creativity, preparedness, and use of their target language. For the students participating, this means that they start rehearsing many weeks in advance, meeting to learn the often extensive choreography and lyrics in their respective languages. Each language’s routine is organized by their Language Assistant, who is responsible for figuring out how to lead their group to victory.

The group is an interesting mix of levels and ages—some contestants are freshman on their first or only semester of their language, and some are senior veterans who keep coming back for more. “I’ve been doing Worldvision since my freshman year, and I’ve had fun every time I’ve done it,” said Thea Hudson ’17.

This year’s Worldvision brought an explosively energetic atmosphere, and songs featured everything from parodies of reality TV to exploding confetti. Every language took a unique approach to representing their culture (and vying for the trophy), from the Chinese team’s endearing interpretation of a classic song to Japan’s signature display of elaborate choreography.

While the competition was tough, Russia pulled out a decisive win for the second year in a row with a spirited dance about being reluctant to wake up when the alarm clock rings. “We put a lot of work into our song,” commented Russian major and performer Phoebe Hughes ’17, “But we had a lot of fun doing it.” Second place was claimed by Italy and third by China, standing out from the other routines for their ingenuity.  “It’s always interesting to see what the other languages come up with,” continued Hughes.

There is never a dull moment at Worldvision, even between songs. The show was hosted, as usual, by Associate Professor of German Arne Koch, who always lights up the stage with non-stop humor. Koch filled up transitions with jokes and Eurovision trivia, rewarding correct answers with German-related paraphernalia from his famous prize bag containing everything from decades old Swiss roadmaps to obscure CDs to, on one memorable occasion in previous years, an uncooked potato.

Worldvision showcased the infectious enthusiasm Colby students have for the languages they study, allowing them to share it with each other and with the broader community in a memorable and entertaining way.

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