As Team 146 prepares to take on Harvard in The Game, other Yale student groups look forward to collaborations with their Crimson counterparts. Various music, comedy and dance groups will participate in joint performances this Friday evening, on the eve of the highly anticipated football game.
An annual addition to the festivities of The Game weekend, many of these collaborations will take place in the form of a capella “jams,” at which each group will perform a short selection of its repertoire. This format will allow students to see a variety of groups in just one performance.
“I always look forward to hearing the Harvard groups that I’ve now heard each year since being at Yale,” said Lili Clark ’19, a member of all-senior acapella group Whim ‘n Rhythm. “Similar to Yale’s a cappella groups, so much change and evolution happens every year as new members come in, so I am excited to see which directions they’ve decided to take this year.”
The Yale-Harvard weekend presents a unique opportunity for Yale ensembles to work with performance groups at other schools. As most Yale students will already be traveling to Cambridge this weekend for The Game, the performance groups do not have to coordinate logistics to build an audience.
Despite the rivalry between the two schools, these joint performances are more supportive than competitive.
“I was astounded by the mutual support shown by both my Yale a capella group and our Harvard sister group, the Lowkeys,” said Matthew Sáenz ’21, who participated in a jam for the first time last year as a member of Yale’s Mixed Company a cappella group. “I was expecting some sense of rivalry, but I was pleasantly surprised it turned out to be a jam session.”
The joint performances are not just a cappella. Yale’s radio station, WYBCx Yale Radio will produce a live music session with Harvard’s WHRB 95.3. Hip Hop dance group Rhythmic Blue will perform with various Harvard dance organizations. And Harvard’s Three Letter Acronym and Immediate Gratification Players will host improv groups Lux Improvitas and Just Add Water, respectively.
While these events might not be as informal as the a cappella “jam sessions,” participants emphasized a similar focus on collaboration.
“Collaboration and cooperation are the foundations of improv — it’s an inherently collaborative art form,” explained Lux Improvitas director Lulu Klebanoff ’20. “‘Yes, and,’ is the foundational tenet of improv — not ‘no, you’re from Harvard.’”
Klebanoff described Harvard’s Three Letter Acronym as Lux Improvitas’s “sister group.” The groups are each college’s youngest improv group and get together each year in the spirit of friendly competition. Two years ago, Three Letter Acronym introduced the Yale students to their audience at Harvard with a joke about Yale students not being able to read, which Klebanoff said was “actually hilarious.”
The joint shows also allow nonathletes to partake in the rivalry of an otherwise athletics-focused event.
“Harvard students are basically just Yale students who live in Boston and are slightly less happy,” Klebanoff said. “I see this weekend as a great opportunity to get to know them, get to learn from them and get to make comedy together.”
Events will take place across Harvard’s campus starting at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Lindsay Daugherty | firstname.lastname@example.org