As the dull day-to-day struggles of the opening week of classes weigh on students’ spirits, two graduate students will look to liven things up with a festival inspired by one of India’s most colorful traditions.
ColorDance is a student-organized festival that attempts to combine some of the traditions of Holi, a Hindu spring festival of colors, with local music, dance, bonfire and art. A diverse lineup of local talent will gather at Poston Lake Music Park for the celebration.
Ryan Miller and Arkopaul Sakar, both industrial engineering graduate students, believe that their festival puts a new spin on the traditional music festivities and will involve students that would not typically attend such an event. Miller said ColorDance is also a promotional opportunity for a three-day long festival he hopes to have organized in May.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the whole thing come to life, as I’ve put a lot of hard work into it over the last six months,” Miller said. “I’m really excited to see all the colors in the air and to see new faces out there that I haven’t seen at other festivals.”
Holi, a religious tradition, celebrates the coming of spring and passing of winter in India. Miller said the festival should not be confused with having a direct connection to Holi; rather it’s an integration of its core themes.
Teaching assistant Enakshi Roy, who was raised Hindu said she agrees with the attempt to remove the religious aspect of Holi from ColorDance, as it should promote more people to get involved that might not have if it were associated with the Hindu religion.
“Holi celebrates youth, vitality and anything that is new,” Roy said. “It’s great if the same spirit of youth, vitality and newness can be instilled in the college community.”
Musically, the festival will feature an eclectic lineup, including bands like HellNaw, Any Colour, The Burning River Ramblers and Pharaoh Loosey, among others.
For Uptowne Buddha, a funk/soul group from Columbus, performing at ColorDance will be the band’s festival debut.
“We’re all just really pumped for it, playing a mini music and arts fest with all our friends,” said Sam Terkel, guitarist in Uptowne Buddha.“Hopefully it’ll be a good turn out from the Athens crowd.”