Tuesday, December 30, 2008

December 2008 Events Archive

Sunday, December 7th, 7pm-10pm
Dancing in Ranya's Holiday Gala
Lafayette Grill & Bar.
54 Franklin Street (3 block south of Canal), NYC
212-732-5600 call for table reservations!

TICKETS: www.BrownPaperTickets.com/event/49829
or 1-800-838-3006 (24-hour ticket hotline)
or buy advance tix in person from me!
$15 advance / $20 at the door
No ticketing fee for first 50 people to buy online!

Thursday, December 11th, 10pm
Performing Stand-Up Comedy at Sheba Mason's Comedy Show
Joe Franklin's Comedy Club @ Charley O's
713 Eighth Avenue & 45th Street, NYC
Tickets: 212-352-3101
866-811-4111(toll free)
Info: 646-351-2904
$10 Cover/$10 Minimum

Friday, December 12th, 7pm-9pm
Meditative Dancing at the Middle Eastern Dance & Drum Concert with Sufi Master Adnan Sarhan
The Feldenkrais Institute of New York
The Chelsea Arts Building
134 West 26th Street, 2nd Floor, NYC
$10 Admission

Saturday, December 13th, 2pm
Dancing in Shoshana's Bellydance Showcase
Queens Public Library, Arverne Branch
312 Beach 54 Street Arverne, NY (Take the A train to Beach 60th St in Far Rockaway... Oh, it's not that far, stop whining!)
(718) 634-4784

Tuesday, December 16th, 7pm-10pm
Dancing in Rayhana's Annual Rock Show
Lafayette Grill & Bar.
54 Franklin Street (3 block south of Canal), NYC
212-732-5600 call for table reservations!

Thursday, December 18th, 10pm
Performing Stand-Up Comedy at Sheba Mason's Comedy Show
Joe Franklin's Comedy Club @ Charley O's
713 Eighth Avenue & 45th Street, NYC
Tickets: 212-352-3101
866-811-4111(toll free)
Info: 646-351-2904
$10 Cover/$10 Minimum

Sunday, November 2, 2008

September/October Events Archive

Thursday, September 11th, 7pm
Dancing at Karma for the September Concert Series.
51 1st Ave ( bet. 3rd and 4th sts,) NYC
No Cover/No Minumum

Sunday, September 21st, 2:30pm-4pm
Teaching Bellydance at Greenhouse Holistic
88 Roebling Street (Williamsburg, near Bedford Ave Stop)
Brooklyn, NY
$15 drop-in

Sunday, October 5th, 8pm
Dancing at with Efendi at The Grisly Pear
107 Macdougal St, NYC (between W 3rd and Bleecker - right next to Panchito's)
(212) 529-3808
No Cover
$20 Food/Drink minimum

Friday, October 10th, 8pm
Emceeing for Bellyqueen's 10th Anniversary Extravaganza!
BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center
199 Chambers Street, NYC (btw Greenwich & West Sts)
(212) 220-1460

Friday, October 24th, 8pm
Dancing and Emceeing for Obama Raqs! Bellydancers for Obama Benefit
Je'Bon Noodle House
15 St. Mark's Place, NYC (btw Greenwich & West Sts)
(212) 388-1313
$10 Donation/$10 Minimum

Wednesday, October 29, 8pm
Dancing for Bellyqueen's Halloween/Scorpio Birthday Party
Je'Bon Noodle House
15 St. Mark's Place, NYC (btw Greenwich & West Sts)
(212) 388-1313
$10 Cover/$5 Minimum

Friday, October 31, 7pm
Dancing with Queen Mama Donna's Blessing Band
for the NYC Halloween Parade
Starting at Sixth Avenue & Spring Street, heading north up Sixth Avenue to 21st Street

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My Halloween Birthday -- from Blessing Band to Cupping Room to Spiegelworld (to a diner at 6am)

Truly a birthday to remember...

I'm usually too lazy to organize my own birthday events; fortunately Halloween is kind enough to provide me with a read-made party day, letting me hop from ball to bash, dancing, drinking and partying my butt off.

Which I did this year... BUT...

I wanted to do something special since a lot has happened for me this year, creatively, emotionally and spiritually.

Queen Mama Donna, who was kind enough to lead PURE's Tree Dedication in Prospect Park this past summer, invited me to join her Blessing Band which, for the second year, led the NYC Village Halloween Parade, blessing the route, the crowd and the city.

Clad in silver and white, sparkles and bells, she gathered us at Spring Street and Sixth Avenue.

Blessing Band 3
(She is on the right in this photo.)

Some of us had wands... and some had red umbrellas??

Blessing Band 19

I was the only one with a hipscarf and a veil.

She guided us to our starting point and we formed a circle around her.

Blessing Band 18

And then led us north...

Blessing Band 20

And I danced and zilled and trailed behind...

Blessing Band 7

Here is a fun video of the procession:

Afterwards, I met with my family and friends and we headed down to The Cupping Room where Rayhana and her students performed a special tribute to the immortal Serena Wilson.

Around 1am, my hardiest (and heartiest) friends, Kisha and Bill K, joined me to see Sarah Locke and Alchemy dance at Spiegelworld at the Seaport.

We thought we were way too late for their show, which was supposed to be before 1am -- but it turned out we arrived just in time for their first number.

By chance, we walked in the right direction and were ordering a drink when we heard a familiar Djinn song coming from the tent behind the bar. We dashed through the crowd and found the beautiful Sarah gliding forward with serpentine mayas.

And then we drank.

And danced.

And danced more.

And ended up in a diner at dawn somewhere near the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, raining glitter and good vibes in our french toast and coffee. Mmmmmmm.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"39 Steps" 39th Halloween Birthday Celebration!!

This is a reprint of the mailing sent out a few days before.


In honor of my 39th birthday, and my current favorite Broadway play "Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps", I will be celebrating in a STATE OF CONSTANT MOTION (and wearing bits of actual costuming from THE 39 STEPS!)!

Please come join me for any or every part of the evening!

We will begin at the very front of the Halloween Parade, as I join Queen Mama Donna's Blessing Band.

We'll start at Spring Street & Sixth Avenue, moving north one to two blocks every five minutes. Please look for us!

We'll be dressed in white with sparkles and jingles, blessing the route, the crowd and the city in honor of Halloween and the coming year!

Meet around 21st Street between Sixth & Seventh Avenue (the Band will head West on 21st), and take the subway down to Soho. (Please call my cell 917-400-5244 if you would like to meet there, otherwise we'll see you later at The Cupping Room or Spiegelworld.)

THE CUPPING ROOM CAFE (W. Broadway & Broome) No Cover

We'll sit for dinner and drinks in this lovely Mediterranean Restaurant, enjoying live music and dancing. NYC bellydance legend RAYHANA will premiere a special tribute to the Great Serena Wilson, who left us too early last year.

We'll head down to the spectacular Spiegelworld, Pier 17 @ South Street Seaport, Fulton & South St, for a "night of witchy devilry for globetrotting vagabonds."

Lots of dancing, food, drink, facepainting, and performances by Alchemy Dance Theater, Sub Swara, Samba Nation and many others.

Cover is $20, but if you RSVP and mention that the DANCE PARADE sent you, or buy a ticket online, it is only $15.

$20 penalty if you don't wear a costume!!!

Happy Halloweeeeeeen!! And hope to see you!!


Friday, October 24, 2008

Obama Raqs Fundraiser!

This evening's Obama fundraiser was a huge success, with a full house and over $800 raised for the campaign.

Check out some of the evening's highlights:


Saturday, October 18, 2008

New York Cares Day 2008!

In spite of today's sudden cold snap (and the nasty cold I've been fighting), I and a bunch of my co-workers enjoyed some major warm fuzzies volunteering for New York Cares Day.

Today's Mission: Paint giant, trippy technicolor murals in an elementary school.

The Victim: PS 84 in Williamsburg.

The Method: Grab a brush and get on a ladder!!

Basically, it was like paint-by-numbers -- only without the numbers, and with pretty cheesy paint (the art director remarked that next time we should get Benjamin Moore to sponsor us into some better materials!).

Using a colored sketch created by the art director, and a chalked outline, we mixed and matched colors as best we could, bringing foods, flowers, blocks and butterflies to life on the school's walls.

I focused on an anthropomorphic raincloud having what looks kind of like a happy accident on flowers and outstretched palms and cups, encouraging all to "Drink It" (trippy, right?).

Cafeteria Mural 2- Me with My Happy Raincloud

On the cafeteria's adjacent wall, fruits and veggies offered themselves to toothy, grinning kids.

Cafeteria Mural 1- Good Food

Outside, a bulbous caterpillar hugged the Pre-K wall.

Pre-K Wall 2- Caterpillar!

And blocks & butterflies graced Kindergartenland.

Pre-K Wall 1- Butterflies & Blocks

I can't help wondering whether the kids will be delighted or baffled on Monday morning......

Or maybe a combination of both. Heck, that worked for me when I was a kid!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bellyqueen's 10th Anniversary Gala

After months of planning, preparing, promoting and perspiring, the Bellyqueen 10th Anniversary tour was a phenomenal success!

The astonishing troupe completed their six-city tour in the span of a week -- yes, that's right, they drove to five cities in five days, finishing up in Chicago. And then they drove all the way back on October 9th.

And somehow they managed to be in top form by noon on Friday when we all met for tech.

Brad and I held the fort in NYC, promoting the show like crazy -- which really paid off, as we sold over 400 tickets in under a week!

Thank you to everyone who came out!!

Here's a nice pic of me introducing the show. (Many thanks to Sal Romano for his excellent photos!)

Tandava 2

I segued into a Twilight-Zoney spiel as the stage darkened and curtain creaked open... revealing....



This is one of my favorite BQ numbers, having seen it in various stages of development over the past few years. It is a delicious showcase of world dance styles alla bellydance where the dancers start as mannequins, then come to life amid fans, ribbons and cowboy boots, only to be pulled back into mannequin form at the end (hence my TZ connection).

Carousel was an especially appropriate opener, as world dance through the b-dance lens was a frequent theme in the BQ show, and in their work in general.

Another lovely example was the quartet "Move" where tribal and cabaret bellydance are joined by flamenco and bollywood to stunning effect.

Move 1

In keeping with the international theme, Australian beatboxer, hip-hop dancer and rapper Morganics joined NY's Hebraic didgeridoo-sporting rapper Baba Israel....

Baba Israel & Morganics

.... who immediately preceded Bellyqueen's hip-hop bellyesque "gang fight" finale, the Drum Battle!

Drum Battle

On a personal note, this was an extraordinary event for me.

As many of you know, I started my performing career back in the 90s as a stand-up comic. Disheartened by the "scene" I joined a theater company for another bunch of years, until illness kept me off the stage.

I took up bellydance to recover from the illness (which included abdominal surgery and 3 herniated discs), only to be led straight back into comedy!

Because of my stand-up experience, I've been asked to emcee bellydance shows for about two years. Now, this is mainly extemporaneous patter ... I hadn't written any actual jokes or routines in over a decade.

Then, a few days before the show, Kaeshi told me she needed me to "fill" about 15 minutes while the band struck their setup.

Uh... huminahuminahumina....

Of course I said yes. And promptly broke into a sweat.

I'd had some ideas kicking around for a while, but never solidified anything -- until the night before the show.

It's always kind of amazing the way these things come together.

If you'd told me last year I'd be joining the prestigious Bellyqueen, doing a full stand-up set before an audience of over 600 ... AND that the performance would be filmed for an upcoming DVD release.... well, I don't know what I'd have said....

But I certainly would have wanted whatever drugs you were taking.

This has been an extraordinary year for me in so many ways. And I can't thank all of you enough -- teachers, fellow students, friends, family and (though I hate to use this word) "fans"! Your support, appreciation (yeah, and tolerance, sometimes :-> ) is so appreciated.

So, SO appreciated.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Bellydance Night at The Grisly Pear - 10/5/08

First -- a huge, hearty thank-you to everyone who came out on Sunday! You were an awesome crowd!

And to those of you who couldn't make it -- we had a full house, so there was no room for you anyway. :-P

Seriously, though, it was a wonderful show, hosted by the ever-gracious Leni and Scott Wilson. And two of my very favorite musicians joined Scott's band, Efendi: maestros Rami ElAasser on dumbek and David Kuchermann on riqq.

In the hustle and bustle of scrambling into my new costume, I forgot to give my camera to the friend who'd agreed to video me ... So there is no video I'm aware of.

But there were TONS of photos -- many excellent ones by Sal Romano, whose lovely work is posted below and on my flickr page.

Here is my entrance to Beyolunda ...

Entrance - Beyolunda 1

... next was the veil dance to Bir Dimet, where I revealed my gorgeous new costume.

Veil Dance - Bir Dimet

Threads look familar? Could be because this stunner is a hand-me-down from the transcendently stunning Darshan.

Next came the candle dance, which inspired several generous patrons to start throwing money around...

Candle Dance - Chiftetelli 1

Sticky, sticky money... :->

Candle Dance - Chiftetelli 2

And please -- no jokes about rolling in dough...

Although it was fun. :-D

Now, onward to the Bellyqueen 10th Anniversary Gala.

Hope to see you there!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Shimmying with the Fishes!

So I just got my SCUBA certification!!

Getting Fitted at the Dive Shop

It was a long, tricky road (or river, as the case may be), but the good people at Kings County Divers stuck with me.

I'd started waaaay back in the fall of '06, hoping to go diving during the TASCA sailing trip to the Virgin Islands. A good friend was interested in joining me, and he was already a certified diver, so I figured I'd join him.

But then he couldn't make it, and I couldn't afford the ever-increasing airfare. And that was that.

Plus it started getting mighty chilly.

With everything-in-the-world getting in the way, as usual, I didn't pick up lessons again until early fall of 07.

I took two pool lessons, but then was hit on the head by the little punks in my neighborhood. With stitches in my scalp, I was forbidden to submerge.

That brings me to spring 2008.

FINALLY I finished the pool work -- mostly. I had a lot of trouble with the "mask clearing" exercise.

Basically, you have to flood your mask (or, preferably, remove it altogether) underwater. You put it back on, and breathe out through your nose until the air pushes all the water from the mask.

Easy? Maybe for some people. But the water rushing in against my over-sensitive sinuses gave me a full-blown panic attack.

I took a few more weeks off, and then was caught up in the summer's heavy performance schedule.

But Mia at KCD kept in contact with me and scheduled me for my first Open Water session in mid-September. But, before I could do that, I had to prove I could clear the mask (that was the late-evening conflict on 9-11).

So I went to the pool at 9pm and somehow, magically, my phobia had vanished. I was able to pull off the mask and put it back on.

Next we were off to Dutch Springs for Open Water 1.

Various Diving Classes Make Their Way to the Water

I did four dives in two days and was half-way to my certification.

Two weekends later, we went out to the bleak Oak Beach in Captree State Park (near Jones Beach) for Open Water 2, plus a night/limited visibility dive.

People Fishing Near the Dive Site

We were supposed to go to Montauk, but the day's nor'easter forced us west.

The current was ferocious, and I got pulled nearly 300 yards in under a minute. The water was so turbid, I couldn't see my outstretched hand. But this gave us very good compass practice and I safely navigated my way to shore (which feels really weird in a strong current when you can't see anything... it's like you constantly are swimming in circles to keep the compass needle straight).

Two of my fellow students swam with a flag:

... and Setting Up the Dive Flag

Unfortunately, the damp weather brought out every bloodsucker imaginable (except, maybe, for lawyers), and they did THIS to my back!!

Mosquito Attack!!!

I counted over 100 bites!!

Happily, I'm all better now and just returned my gear to the dive shop earlier tonight. And Mia gave me my Diver's Certification Card.


You can find more photos of my fishy adventures, here on my flickr page where, mysteriously, this video of me struggling into my dive suit has gotten some attention.

In only a few days, it's gotten nearly 400 hits and been favorited! Weird!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September Concert At Karma

I had initially turned this show down because of a scheduling conflict later in the evening, but they put me in a special pre-show spot at 6:45pm. This worked out great because the tiny place was already pretty full.

The only (small) problem was that, since the space is designed for a band, they didn't realize I'd need a little more light on the floor in front of the stage. But they lifted the darkness about 30 seconds into my set.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Just Another Ordinary Saturday


Between my various travels and performances, I have been slacking off in my duties to my rockin' sailing club, TASCA.

Sailing 4

I joined them back in 2003 and became an instructor last year. The club is a non-profit group that offers very inexpensive sailing lessons ($275 for a 7-week course), and an opportunity to join the club upon completion for the hefty sum of $40 per year (yes, per year!).

Why so inexpensive? Because members are encouraged to hone their skills through volunteering to teach.

Although they offer classes during the weekday evenings, my work and class schedule prevents me from teaching then, so that leaves the Saturday classes: On the water from 10am to 1pm.

And because I just can't handle the weekend subway mess, I usually bike the 10 miles there and back on my snazzy Dahon folding bike.

Me and My Dahon Folding Bike

Normally, that's enough to make a full Saturday. BUT NOT FOR ME!

Today I only had one student (who did very well, by the way), so it was easy to quickly review the day's lesson on dry land with her (shown here with her completed lesson sheet)...

My Student!!

... and hop back on my trusty bike to speed another six miles in the opposite direction towards the Hollis Queens Public Library, for, yes, a BELLYDANCE SHOW!

I've been studying privately with the fabulous Shoshana, who booked me to dance with her students a few weeks before. I knew I'd be teaching that morning, so another another TASCA member was going to drive me to the dance show, but that fell through.

So, I embraced the extra cardio!!!

And then I danced!!

Not surprisingly, Shoshana's students were amazingly good. One in particular, Safinaz -- who had only been studying for about six months -- gave a stunning performance of her own choreography.

Afterwards, Shoshana kindly packed my folded Dahon into her trunk and drove me part of the way home down the treacherous Hillside Avenue, and I completed the entire seven-mile length of Myrtle Avenue on my own.


Exhausted and butt-sore, I got home around 5pm.

Time to relax? Oh, no no no. Not me.

My dear friend Lourdes was holding a special "surprise" party waaaaay up in the Bronx. The surprise, according to her evite, was to be on her guests.

With equal parts trust and trepidation, I cleaned up, dressed up and trundled out again.

Hungry and cranky, I arrived nearly 2 hours late -- and everyone was waiting for me. :-P

Lourdes asked me to write two adjectives and two nouns on separate pieces of paper and drop them into their respective fishbowls. Just to be a punk, I threw "eponymous" into the adjective bowl.

Across from the food table sat four covered boxes, and a few feet from that were some art supplies... and then I realized my mistake.

The game was a sort of cross between Mad Libs and Pictionary: Two contestants pick an adjective and noun, and then paint it.

Kisha v. Alex!

Everyone else votes for a "winner." But regardless of who "won," both people pick a prize blind from the boxes.

I got "whimsical ring," so I drew a cell phone playing an "Istanbul" ring tone. No one got it. My opponent drew something that looked like a puddle having a nervous breakdown.

Everyone loved it.

Then we went onto the second Pictionary-esque part where one person draws a noun-adjective combination and the group guesses.

One person got "enlightened bubbles" and drew Buddha with a soap-hookah.

Draw Enlightened Bubbles

And then it was Stacey's turn...


She fished out her charge and ran into the back room with Lourdes. Thirty seconds later: "CAAAAROL!!!!"

I gave her a more drawable word: incandescent.

Kisha got it and picked out Naughty Naughty Party Games.*

Kisha's Prize

I picked out the Crazy Cat Lady Action Figure.

How appropriate!!

*Actually, she didn't win the Naughty, Naughty Party Games... I did. I just happen to have that picture of her opening it. I also won The Book Lovers Kit. I don't remember what Kisha won. I was really, really, really tired that night!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Newsletter for 8-8-08

This is a reprint of a the message to my mailing list.

Happy "Auspicious Eights" Day!

According to Chinese tradition, 8 is a number of Great Fortune -- so go buy a lottery ticket! (And to the naysayers, there is one person on this list who hit the jackpot a few years ago, SO IT CAN HAPPEN!)

And speaking of good fortune, thank you for your continued donations to the PURE Tree fund; we still have a few hundred dollars to go, so please make even a small contribution at the Prospect Park website, and be sure to write "PURE Trees" in the comments field.

Also, thank you to everyone who came to see 700 Wives. We had such a wonderful response that the production is being optioned by a swanky night club -- so stay tuned!!

In other Dance News:

I'll be joining the glorious Shoshana, her students, and special guest artist Indian tomorrow at 2pm for the Summer Delight series at the Queens Public Library in Hollis, located at:

202-05 Hillside Avenue
Hollis, NY 11423
(718) 465-7355
Free Admission (of course!)

By car, take Grand Central Parkway east to Francis Lewis Blvd south. Make a right onto Hillside Ave, towards 202nd Street. By subway/bus: take the F to 179th Street and catch the Q1, Q36, Q43, Q76, Q77 to 202nd (about 30 blocks).

Incidentally, if you're coming by car and wouldn't mind making a small detour at Flushing Meadows Park, I will be instructing Basic Sailing students until about 12:30pm in Meadow Lake and would love a lift (sailboat not included :-> )!!

Have a wonderful weekend and hope to see you there!!

-Carol/Tandava :->


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Amy!!

After a successful close of 700 Wives,

700 Wives Cast Photo

I briefly joined the cast for our Last Supper at a nearby diner -- but only briefly because I had to scoot down to the Village for the lovely Amy Staub's thirtyish birthday party.

Amy's Cupcakes!!

For all my scooting, however, we still waited nearly an hour to be seated at the trendyish Cafetasia.

On the other hand, it took nearly an hour for the rest of the group to arrive (not unexpected from a bunch of dancers busy with performances and rehearsals -- even on a Sunday).

Seated finally, the group included my dear PUREista pals Maria and Lisa:

Maria & Lisa Cuddle Up

Alura & Athena Najat:

Alura, Athena & Amy

Hannah Nour and her intently-focused pal:

Hannah Nour Talks Like An Egyptian

The Glamour Twins, Ranya and Bozenka:

Ranya & Bozenka Have a Secret....

And what party would be complete without the fabulous Darshan??

Lovely Darshan

Bellyqueen's Anasma and Amar Gamal (joined by Anasma's acting teacher) dropped by after the BQ's rigorous Sunday rehearsal:

Anasma & Amar, with Anasma's Theatre Teacher

We brought our own cupcakes to the party, but mysteriously, the restaurant failed to serve them until most of the group was gone!

But this worked out, since they charged us something like $2 per head -- not per cupcake. :-> (I hate when restaurants do this: You've already spent a fortune on food and drinks; you've brought your own special birthday dessert, and then they charge you to eat it in the place).

Well, no matter. It wasn't hard for us to vacuum up every last cupcake:

More and More Cupcakes!

Leaving only a sad little candle on an empty plate:

Lonely Last Candle....

Check out more photos on my Flickr Album.

Friday, August 1, 2008

July Events Archive

Saturday, July 19th, 2-4pm
Dancing with PURE (Public Urban Ritual Experiment) through Prospect Park, starting at Grand Army Plaza.
Click here for details.

Tuesdays through Sundays
July 16th through August 3rd
Dancing in 700 Wives -- The Musical
Richmond Shepard Theatre
309 E. 26th Street at 2nd Ave.
For Reservations Call: 212-684-2690 or go to Theatremania.com
$25 ($20 if you mention my name at the door)
Senior/Student Discount $18.

Friday, July 25, 2008

PURE Joy in Prospect Park

On Saturday, July 19th -- in 96ยบ weather -- about 30 PURE dancers, musicians and volunteers marched into the blazing sun for our fourth annual procession.

How appropriate that this year's theme is global warming and the importance of trees in our overheated urban environment.

And what better way to support this theme than not only to hold our procession in Brooklyn's beautiful, historic Prospect Park -- but to tangibly help the park by adopting three struggling Birch trees?

Note: We began to raise funds a few days before the procession, but due to some technical problems on the donation site we were not able to receive funds.

I'm happy to report that the site is now fixed!!
So please click here to make a tax-deductible donation -- even a small amount would be very welcome!

And please be sure to write "PURE Trees" in the Comments field to ensure that your kind donation will be directed toward our beloved Birches.

So... about the procession.

It was wonderful!

And guess what! We made the Sunday Daily News!!

PURE in the NY Daily News-7-20-08

Ironically, the photo was placed right next to the weather report of Sunday's steamy, globally-warmed temperatures.

Urban Shaman Mama Donna and her globally-cooling umbrella joined us, presiding at the beginning and end of the procession.


We began in front of the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza.

PURE in front of Brooklyn Public Library

We had planned to do our entire foundation choreography, which usually takes 6 minutes, but the scalding heat forced us to improvise for a minute or two...

Jamming in Front of the Brooklyn Public Library 1

...and drove us into the shade....

Queen Mama Donna Leads PURE in Opening Ritual 4

... where Mama Donna blessed us and the trees, reinforcing the purity of our intention....


And then it was on through the Long Meadow..

Heading Down Long Meadow 1

...with Mama Donna, volunteers and onlookers at our side.

Long Meadow

To make sure onlookers could follow us, Sophia, one of our invaluable assistants scattered rose petals as she went.


We stopped at a crossroads towards the southern end of the Long Meadow and performed a portion of the Foundation choreography.


Our procession continued through the beautiful Ravine, where we let out a whopping zaghareet in the Center Drive tunnel...

... leading to the Music Pagoda, where we gave a quick performance.

At the Music Pagoda 6

Then we took a quick break at the Boathouse (they make very good Thai iced tea there!).

PURE In Propect Park

And then went on to the Oriental Pavillion at the Composers' Grove where we performed the full Foundation choreography -- much to the delight of blue-and-white clad partiers in the Pavillion!

Oriental Pavillion

Then it was on to the lake where our adoptive trees awaited!


And here are our Baby Birches. You can see why we want to help them....

Baby Birches

But before we began our Adoption Ceremony, we put on disposable gloves and cleaned the area. Even the littlest onlookers helped!

PURE In Prospect Park

We saluted the trees in a grand cascade.


And then each of us danced a solo blessing for our trees.


Mama Donna began the ceremony by invoking the elements: incense for fire, oil on our hands for earth, and mercifully sprayed all of us with water culled from blessed springs from all over the world (mixed with that most blessed spring of all -- Brooklyn tap!)


And then we danced!! (Notice my father looking on.... :-> )


The whole group posed in front of our beloved trees.

In Front of the Baby Birches

[Note: You can view the full galleries of all the above photographers by clicking any given photo, or visit these links:




Many thanks to our wonderful photographers!!!]