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!!!]

Friday, July 18, 2008

Busy -- Oh So Busy!!

It's all good, but exhausting. And hard to find time to write.

I'm currently in a production called 700 Wives - The Musical, a silly, sweet biblical romp where I bellydance and sing at the end.

Here's the really funny thing: Just before they asked me to join the chorus, I had returned from my umteenth retreat this year. This one was called "The American Musical as Spiritual Experience", taught by the ever-amazing Carol Fox Prescott.

The Beautiful Carol Fox Prescott

We stayed up at a lovely center called Shantigar in northwestern Massachussets and did a whole lot of singing and dancing in a Big Tent.

Here I am doing "Mein Herr," from Cabaret.

Carol 5: Mein Herr

I know it's been a while since I've updated... but I have many entries still in draft mode, finishing off my trip to Cairo, as well as a few notes from San Francisco and the other retreats I've been on... so stay tuned!!!