Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

Free Move Mix Festival clears weather hurdle, kicks off 2023–24 season

By Cale Blakely

The free Move Mix Festival kicked off the Center for the Performing Arts 2023–24 season on Sept. 12, with electric performances from both local and national talent. Bad weather forced the event to be moved inside, but that certainly didn’t stop more than 400 attendees from showing up and getting their groove on.

The Ady Martínez Latin Dance Party was first to the stage, bringing some Latin folk and dance classics to the people of State College. As a fan of Latin jazz, I really enjoyed the band’s music and appreciated its presence at the festival. With the group being a State College-based band, and National Hispanic Heritage Month starting on Sept. 15, the band was really an excellent choice to start the event.

To the same extent, the artists of Caliente Dance Company showcased their skills next, with Latinx-inspired dances to a variety of Latin American music. Being Penn State’s premier student Latinx dance team, the group hit the stage with unmatched energy and enthusiasm, bringing the heat to Eisenhower.

The closer was the Brooklyn-based big band Red Baraat. The band’s music was a unique blend of many eclectic styles, including brass-band jazz, northern Indian bhangra and hip-hop beats, to create a truly special blend of sound.

For this performance, the front of the main stage was lowered, allowing attendees to form a pseudo-mosh pit in front of the band, and the audience definitely took advantage of the offer. People were dancing, head-banging, singing along and even going up on stage for an impromptu dance battle.

The Rolling Lion Food Truck was brought to the venue and provided food and drink to the hungry attendees. The opportunity to free-range snack, along with the free entry, created a real casual feel to the event, welcoming anyone to come in, have a bite to eat and dance along to the amazing show.

Cale Blakely is a communications intern for the Center for the Performing Arts.