Book lovers dance in the rain during Boston Book Festival

Woman reads a book blurb at the Boston Book Festival 2018 on Saturday, Oct. 13. Photo by Laura Al Bast / BU News Service

By Mariya Amrayeva
BU News Service

BOSTON — The rainy Saturday of the Boston Book Festival started with the “Morning Dance Party,” meant to make people enjoy the day no matter what.

The “Morning Dance Party,” hosted by Radha Agrawal, and the singer/songwriter from Berklee College of Music, Yanina Johnson, was held at the Berklee Stage at Copley Square. Despite the cold and rainy weather, BBF visitors gathered around the stage with umbrellas and raincoats to sing, dance and enjoy the day.

Agrawal created the idea of the Morning Dance Party, basing it on the Daybreaker movement, also founded by her.

“It’s an early morning dance community in 25 cities around the world. We are almost 500,000 people,” said Agrawal. “It’s a 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. dance on weekday mornings, Wednesday morning. The main idea of the project is that I want to bring people back together without substances, without alcohol, without drugs.”

Agrawal believes that every person is a morning person.

“We are all humans. So, we tell ourselves that we hate the morning. We just trained ourselves to hate the morning,” she said. “Everyone could be trained to be a morning person. If you get back to your natural rhythms, you feel happier, you feel more optimistic.”

Agrawal was optimistic about the weather and said that she would we be happy even if just one person would show up to listen to music and dance in the rain.

“It is raining, but that means life. That means that trees are happy,” Agrawal said.

Despite the rain many people gathered together next to the stage, dancing, singing and smiling.

“Look, there is a whole crowd out here, in the rain. It’s good music, it’s a good day to dance,” said BBF visitor, Alex Keyton who lived within walking distance of the festival.

The rain didn’t phase Keyton much. He said he was planning on staying at the festival unless he got so soaked he had to go home and dry himself out.

After the dance party, Agrawal gave a lecture during the “Rage Against the Screen” panel about her life philosophy, Daybreaker and her new book, “Belong.”

“The book is basically about finding your community and making friends. We all are more isolated than we’ve ever been. We are lonelier than we have ever been as a country,” she said. “I really wanted to write a book about how people could find their dream community, make the friends who will give them wings to fly.”

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