“Dance is dangerous, joyous, sexual, holy, disruptive, contagious, it breaks the rules. It can happen anywhere, anytime, with anyone and everyone, and it’s free. Dancing insists we take up space, we go there together in community. Dance joins us and pushes us to go further and that is why it’s at the center of ONE BILLION RISING.”
Art is the most direct and visceral way of speaking to people across boarders, and barriers. Art motivates, art empowers, art creates news ways of thinking.
As part of Eve Ensler’s – the Tony Award author of the Vagina Monologues [http://www.eveensler.org] – global campaign One Billion Rising to end the violence against women and girls, musicians, choregraphers, visual artists, poets, writers are rising up on February 14th, 2013.
“One in three women on the planet
will be raped or beaten in her lifetime.
One billion women violated is an atrocity.
One billion women dancing is a revolution.”
Published on Dec 31, 2012
A Spoken Word tribute, and a plea for India’s Daughters. Written, recorded and produced on one sleepless night, Dec 30, 2012.
Written, composed and arranged by Anuj Rastogi.
(c) Copyright Anuj Rastogi (Omnesia Records) 2012
Tonight, as I tuck her into her crib for the night
I stare down at her, under the waning moonlight
As on all other such evenings, I kiss her goodnight and wish away any fright
That she may feel while asleep, or awake
With all my might_ I wish I could make it all go away
Every crime, every curse,
Every danger, every hearse
That carries away the bodies of souls departed
Or in tonight’s case, the soul of a country that needs to be restarted
A country, raped by a mother’s own sons, brothers, and fathers
A country that has failed every one of its daughters
Tonight is the first night that I’ve wondered, maybe even wished,
What Mother India could’ve been had her sons instead been drowned in a dish
Had families cursed their misfortune for having a boy
And looked in envy at their neighbors unbridled joy
Celebrating their good fortune for having a daughter;
Perhaps our sons should’ve been lead away to slaughter,
One-by-one before they should plunder, or chance an act of such moral blunder
For centuries Mother India has been MOTHER INDIA,
And like Jocasta, violated by Oedipus every fort night,
Raping his own mother, cloaked in the illusion of non-existent virtue
Dear sons, why am I left feeling I must now curse you?
A land that venerates the Goddess, dresses her scantily and then
Insists she be modest
A land that elevates women to positions of political status
Lies naked and wounded, questioning her chastice
This land rides on her back to procreate and drive economic progress
And then questions her character should she dare to step out in a dress
This land so fertile for its women, lies morally barren of more than a few men who value what is within.
Rape is an act of imposed power
But it is not simply caused when a beast deflowers
It is one spoke, but one extension
Of a social ill that few dare to mention
In our dowries, in our words
We do nothing but seek to curb
The spirit of the truly free woman
WE ARE the problem
Men rape women.
Women rape women.
Mother’s In-Law rape women
Protectors of law rape women.
Politicians rape women.
Film makers rape women.
Ancient Traditions rape women.
Modern police stations rape women.
Silence rapes women.
Speaking out rapes women.
Apathy rapes women.
You and me rape women.
Every minute, of every day
Somewhere in this ancient country,
Be it physical or parliamentary
A woman is raped — her spiritual dignity, once draped
In self-respect has through decades of social neglect
Been left to wither and rot, in plain sight
This is NOT the country of my moral parents
This is not the planet I want for my children
This is NOT the world I want my daughter to grow up in.
And so here I sit, 3000 miles away
Proud to be brown, but ashamed to be a man.
I am a man. A father. A son.
How do I tomorrow face my little one.
And tell her the monsters of the dark were once little boys,
Whose mothers and fathers bred a society armed with penile toys.
And when one woman dared to speak, she was shut down, or drowned in the noise,
Of a society that values its life-giving daughters less than its public poise?
As I lie here, my little girl asleep in her crib.
I am in anguish, she sleeps still, I’m torn right next to her.
When she asks me about India, What will I tell her?
Will it still be my heart’s home, full of history and culture
Or will it be truly overrun by soul-less vultures?
Perhaps this fire that burns,
Sustained and relentless, is what Amanat’s sacrifice has earned
Perhaps tonight is like every other night before it;
And every woman in Delhi will walk in fear from her brothers, the police and the state.
Or perhaps tonight is the night that we turn the tables on fate.
And embrace our shared anger, and our common hate
For the ills of our world, and the suffering of our girls.
Perhaps, tonight is THE night that through Amanat’s plight, WE can awake.
Stay Tuned! We’ve registered to hold a “rising” here in Reno on this global day. Watch:
“Break the Chain” aims to raise awareness around the world about V-Day’s fastest escalating global campaign to date, ONE BILLION RISING. The ONE BILLION RISING campaign began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS. On 14 February 2013, V-Day’s 15th anniversary, activists, writers, thinkers, celebrities and women and men across the world will come together to express their outrage, strike, dance, and RISE in defiance of the injustices women suffer, demanding an end at last to violence against women.
I went to Sacramento this past weekend to see Amy & Shelly for Unmata’s 10th Anniversary celebration, and it was beyond all expectation – natch! of all their wonderful work though, I believe this is my favorite piece. So stunning ladies, Happy happy Anniversary!
Saturday May 5th – that’s right Cinco de Mayo – joining Cirque Du Mar at the Underground.
Featuring: Blackrock City Allstars, Carnival Games, Dragonfly Aerials, Boho Hoops, Photobooth, D6 – Dr. Jones – MAXX Polishuk – Coachking – Jek Yellowhair and ADM with the Bumpreno crew – Heidilicious – Jeremy Curl – Dusty Bacon – Alcheme… and more.
Tickets are just 15.00 in advance or 20.00 at the door. See you at the Underground!
Sierra Cinemas, Nevada City, Sun Apr 22 – JOFFREY: MAVERICKS OF AMERICAN DANCE – 1 hr 28 min – Unrated. A look at the Joffrey Ballet, the groundbreaking cultural treasure known as the first truly American dance company. Narrated by Tony and Emmy Award winner Mandy Patinkin and directed by Bob Hercules (Bill T. Jones: A Good Man), the film documents how the Joffrey revolutionized American ballet by daringly combining modern dance with traditional ballet technique, combining art with social statement and setting ballets to pop and rock music scores. The film features rare excerpts from many seminal Joffrey works including Astarte, Trinity and Billboards. As a special treat, Nevada County natives Michael Levine and Maia Wilkins, alumni of the Joffrey Ballet, will be present to talk about their experiences and answer questions.
Co-founded in 1956 by visionary teacher Robert Joffrey and dancer Gerald Arpino, who would become their principal choreographer, The Joffrey Ballet began as a DIY dance company of six dancers touring the United States in a borrowed station wagon. What started as a childhood dream quickly grew into one of the world’s most exciting and prominent ballet companies. Together, Joffrey and Arpino transformed the face of dance with bold new perspectives for edgy ballets that challenged conventions. Aggressive touring took the Company from school auditoriums across America’s Heartland, to the White House at Jacqueline Kennedy’s invitation, and on to Russia for a month-long tour during the height of the Cold War, and beyond. They also garnered extensive media attention for their daring originality, which included appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, the cover of Time magazine, and in major motion pictures such as Save the Last Dance and Robert Altman’s The Company (which is based on the Joffrey).
Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance weaves a wealth of rare archival footage and photographs along with interviews featuring former and current Joffrey star dancers, showing the full history of the Company from its founding to the present. It describes how the Joffrey repeatedly resurrected itself after devastating financial and artistic setbacks and introduced cutting-edge choreographers such as Twyla Tharp, Laura Dean and Margo Sappington to larger audiences.
The film features rare excerpts from many seminal Joffrey works including Astarte, Trinity and Billboards, as well as breakthrough collaborations with choreographers Twyla Tharp (Deuce Coupe), Kurt Jooss (The Green Table) and Leonide Massine (Parade).
A performer from the Beija Flor samba school parades during Carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro on Feb. 20, 2012. Millions watched the sequin-clad samba dancers at Rio de Janeiro's iconic Carnival parade. (Silvia Izquierdo/Associated Press) A performer from the Beija Flor samba school parades during Carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro on Feb. 20, 2012. Millions watched the sequin-clad samba dancers at Rio de Janeiro's iconic Carnival parade. (Silvia Izquierdo/Associated Press)
I’ve seen that Ads all month around town about Nights of Fire! opening this week at the El Dorado and it had me curious.
“Benise – Nights of Fire!” will light up the Eldorado Showroom January 24 through April 1, 2012. Hailed as the Latin Riverdance by the LA Times, this world music and dance production takes audience members on an exotic journey through Brazilian samba, Cuban salsa, Spanish flamenco, Argentine tango, even African tribal chants and drums.
In spite of the LA Times proclaimed “Hail as the Latin Riverdance,” I’m still intrigued. Looks like it might be fun.
Reno area residents on Saturday took part in the “Thriller” flash mob dance organized by Thrill the World. More than 100 ‘souls’ gathered at the Harrah’s Reno Plaza as part of the Thrill the World Flash mob dance that occurred around the world Saturday night.
Millions of Americans wear purple on Spirit Day as a sign of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth and to speak out against bullying. Spirit Day was started in 2010 by teenager Brittany McMillan as a response to the young people who had taken their own lives. Observed annually on October 20, individuals, schools, organizations, corporations, media professionals and celebrities wear purple, which symbolizes spirit on the rainbow flag. Getting involved is easy — participants are asked to simply “go purple” on October 20 as we work to create a world in which LGBT teens are celebrated and accepted for who they are.
LaRonda Etheridge is one of the fitness instructors at the ACHIEVE Fitness studio where I teach is actively fighting Breast Cancer. A benefit is being organized on her behalf to help aid with the mounting medical costs. Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, what a perfect opportunity to make a timely local impact. Tickets can be purchased here, or at the locations listed on the flyer below.
Credit: Eric Schwabel [http://blog.schwabelstudio.com
To our fuchsia Bridesmaids, the entire Reno Housewives crew; Lauren; The Popcorn Palace for catering!; our attendants, and attendees:
Thank you! for sharing some very special and memorable moments with us. Lauren, as ever, you are superlative and I am so grateful to you for honoring us both by officiating our ceremony. You all are truly in our hearts for standing witness to our love and union of commitment – That’s the amazing part, and we both feel so honored by your support and love.
Credit: P Ricciardi
The unexpected aspect came from the new awareness that each of us now has of being married. We’ve been together for 7 years now, and we each didn’t expect that this type of ceremonious declaration would have much impact, but it has to a degree! The best way that I know to describe, is that there seems to be some unseen tendril of new intimacy that deepens the everyday connections. Like a quiet awareness. At least, that is how it feels to me anyway, and I’m sure Tink has his own take it, but there definitely is a subtle difference.
What a remarkable day! Preps were low-drama, but of course last-minute playa-time being what it is, we arrived at the appointed spot after our guests and loved-ones. One of the multitudes of items I had neglected to print off before leaving town was our ceremony and vows, which Lauren had conscientiously sent to me for edits, so I had to handwrite transcribe them from my laptop so she could officiate. Lauren, extra big kudos for schlogging through my handwriting!
Credit: P Ricciardi
Credit: P Ricciardi
Credit: P Ricciardi
Credit: P Ricciardi
Afterwards, our lovely bridesmaids crew through us a great reception soirée back at our camp featuring amazing friends; Paella, and Champagne, and lovely hugs.
Tink and I had a wonderful day! Made even more special because of each of you. Blessings to you all of you come from a very special place in our hearts.
Credit: P Ricciardi
Next up! We are off to be legally married in Washington DC later this month [Yikes, just in a couple of weeks!]. We’ve engaged with Tiffany Newman to officiate for us while we’re there, NOT that it will be recognized here in Nevada anytime soon, but hey, look how far equality has come thus far! Every raindrop feeds the ocean, right?
Credit: P Ricciardi
Our friends have been sending more photos, so as they come in, I will add them to an album I’ll host somewhere. More than likely, I’ll post a link in the side-column for easy access. They’re great, as they keep the remembrances of these very special days ongoing.
Super-post: I am combining this week’s contribution to the That’s A Look! files with a submission of retrospective images of my soon-to-be husband, Jimmie R. Martin. About this time next week we will be amidst our global friends in a ceremony to unite us for eternity.
And I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to post this priceless image:
Tinker, a well known staple of the Internationally renowned Reno Housewives Themed-Camp readies and primps to perform entroupe as bridesmaids at another Black Rock City wedding. A stunning example of Haute Couture collision in the high desert.
Jimmie, a.k.a. “Tink”, was one of the original founders of the Sierra Safari Zoo in Reno. We host, and are privileged care givers to over 150 guests, who are our extended family through good and challenging times. Jimmie is an astute and dedicated papa, whose heart is as big as the universe. He’s an amazing man, Lo amo caro!
We have a great community of human and non-human members – at the zoo AND out on the playa!
This year our campmates get to be “our” bridesmaids! But, we’re still ready and raring to maid-it for all the other happy couples out there. We love making processions through the dust, or is that we love making dust through processions!!
At the end of September we head off to Washington, DC for our legal wedding, but the important one will be here at home camping out amongst our spiritual siblings, and enjoying the joy.
I present my love and life-mate, Jimmie:
Jimmie, and Alfie as a baby
ear kisses and purrs
More current photos will follow! See you when we get back.
Our nascent youth SEEDs
& Education through Dance} Program is now fully underway and has a
Check it out by clicking the leetle bug above, or check in on our progress over at: http://dadimaseeds.org.