Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Colors of Rhythm

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Yesterday evening marked the 21st annual Colors of Rhythm showcase, conceived in 1997
to highlight certain cultural modes of performance notably absent from curricula and mainstream
awareness. The event has persisted to this day as a platform for artists and performers
of color to explore and celebrate cultural art forms.

The primary objective for Colors of Rhythm is to provide “a forum for disenfranchised artists
and performers of color” to express themselves through forms historically omitted from
course offerings, and, in so doing, to “initiate constructive protest against issues of cultural
appropriation and uncritical cultural assimilation by and within dominant cultures,” according
to its mission statement.

Presenting a variety of performances from Taiko drumming and dance forms like step to
spoken word and vocal pieces, the showcase seeks to raise awareness about whitewashing
and appropriation, as well as challenge the dynamic of decontextualization that can occur
when such forms are coopted into dominant artistic movements.

Yesterday evening marked the 21st annual Colors of Rhythm showcase, conceived in 1997 to highlight certain cultural modes of performance notably absent from curricula and mainstream awareness. The event has persisted to this day as a platform for artists and performers of color to explore and celebrate cultural art forms. The primary objective for Colors of Rhythm is to provide “a forum for disenfranchised artists and performers of color” to express themselves through forms historically omitted from course offerings, and, in so doing, to “initiate constructive protest against issues of cultural appropriation and uncritical cultural assimilation by and within dominant cultures,” according to its mission statement. Presenting a variety of performances from Taiko drumming and dance forms like step to spoken word and vocal pieces, the showcase seeks to raise awareness about whitewashing and appropriation, as well as challenge the dynamic of decontextualization that can occur when such forms are coopted into dominant artistic movements.

Photo by Clover Linh Tran

Photo by Clover Linh Tran

Yesterday evening marked the 21st annual Colors of Rhythm showcase, conceived in 1997 to highlight certain cultural modes of performance notably absent from curricula and mainstream awareness. The event has persisted to this day as a platform for artists and performers of color to explore and celebrate cultural art forms. The primary objective for Colors of Rhythm is to provide “a forum for disenfranchised artists and performers of color” to express themselves through forms historically omitted from course offerings, and, in so doing, to “initiate constructive protest against issues of cultural appropriation and uncritical cultural assimilation by and within dominant cultures,” according to its mission statement. Presenting a variety of performances from Taiko drumming and dance forms like step to spoken word and vocal pieces, the showcase seeks to raise awareness about whitewashing and appropriation, as well as challenge the dynamic of decontextualization that can occur when such forms are coopted into dominant artistic movements.

Text by Victoria Garber, Arts editor

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Established 1874.
Colors of Rhythm