The calendar says the spring festival of Holi is in late March, over a month away. But last night’s Super Bowl 50 halftime show in Santa Clara, California, with Coldplay, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars, witnessed by over 100 million TV viewers, gave off some brightly-colored Holi vibes, even without brightly-colored powders.
— Niraj Warikoo (@nwarikoo) February 8, 2016
— Coldplay (@coldplay) February 7, 2016
Perhaps powder plans were nixed given the potential difficulties of quick cleanup before the start of the game’s second half? Or maybe Coldplay heeded Codeswitch editor Tasneem Raja’s advice to Step Away From The Holi Powder after the release of its music video “Hymn For The Weekend” which was doused in colored powders and Orientalism.
Other themes and influences were on display too at halftime. Vulture refers to “Coldplay’s tired old Sgt. Pepper-does-Mardi Gras aesthetic” and “California kaleidoscope,” and Mic read the show as a “12-minute tribute to LGBT love — with an epic Black Lives Matter interlude.” But the garlands, colors, Hindi writing, temple-style bell and marigolds also helped give it that Holi feeling, as noted on Twitter by some viewers:
— Nina Mehta (@Ladi_Nina) February 8, 2016
Like Holi threw up on Santa Clara. pic.twitter.com/y7KwTXewHK
— Manish Vij (@manish_vij) February 8, 2016
— Aarti Virani (@aartivirani) February 8, 2016
Can India charge Coldplay a commission for co-opting Holi?#SB50
— Tanvi Madan (@tanvi_madan) February 8, 2016
Video of the full halftime performance at Super Bowl 50:
In case that left you hankering for some Bollywood-style Holi music and visuals, do check out Farah Naz Khan’s top-10 roundup of Holi hits:
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