Cal Day: Dancing on the Campanile, plus photos and stories

Highlights of BANDALOOP’s Campanile show.(UC Berkeley video by John Kabasakalis, Phil Ebiner, John Quick and Basil Tsimoyianis)

Craning their necks skyward, Cal Day visitors to UC Berkeley took in a once-in-a-lifetime sight (and a once-in-a-century happening) Saturday, as members of the Bay Area-based vertical dance group BANDALOOP turned the high, granite walls of the Campanile into their dance floor. At 2 p.m. and again at 4, with the hands of the Sather Tower clock set to 6:30, out of the way of rigging lines, the colorfully costumed aerial artists descended from the top of the 307-foot-high structure, performing graceful choreography on its north and west faces.

BANDALOOP’s two spellbinding afternoon performances were the high point of an otherwise jam-packed open house, showcasing UC Berkeley’s vitality and breadth with more than 300 free activities. Visitors took motorized cable-car rides, got up close and personal with a live python, shared tea with women engineers, toured campus residence halls and museums and attended talks on water politics and the science of happiness.

Berkeley’s DNA was on display, as well, as the Black Student Union staged a midday demonstration at Sather Gate, expressing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and bringing attention to campus-climate issues. “Witnessed our first protest,” one visitor posted to the social-media hashtag #sharecalday (where you’ll also find everything from silly selfies to heartfelt testimonials from Cal alums).

The Cal Day website captured people’s experiences in #sharecalday photos and comments. And here are photographs shot by NewsCenter photographers Hulda Nelson and Kevin Ho Nguyen: