Saturday, July 19, 2008

of being an artiste


I am just recovering from the most creative explosion ever, one that has left me utterly exhausted and wanting just wide open emptiness. Soon my boredom will have hit its edge and I will begin my new journey- an odyssey once again into the unknown. I am somewhat unnerved to what will unravel in the next two years.. I hold my breath and PLUNGE in, knowing that it will be sometime before I pop up to a Big Sky once again.

Dr, Hen Lew will be my new mentor. This Hawaiian Shaman will teach me the process of Hooponopono in August. Traditionally this healing method would have all Polynesian community members sitting around in a circle working out the problem or challenge together. In this newer system, designed by the late Morrnah of Hawaii, everything is handled by you and the divinity. In process all living beings have a substance that surrounds them made from “ AKA threads”. These threads are elastic and sticky and can stretch to great distance without breaking. These threads also act like lines of electricity or telephone wires carrying and acting as a conductor of a vital force. Through repetition of thoughts, feelings and actions these threads begin to braid themselves and then turn into strong cords. I am looking forward to learning more.

Almost two films under my belt have left me questioning the plight of a documentary film maker. Alone are we, penniless and embarking on territory travelled by only a few. I love it and despise it all at once, which neutralizes it in the end!

Thank You Tanzania has seen it's glory! Brian Noon did an extraordinary job in editing the movie. It runs 91 minutes. Five festivals, one award this film the premise of creating this documentary was to capture the beauty, vulnerability, and creative spirit of the children and youth from Tanzania and Canada as they interact with one another through their exploration of the arts. The intended audience is for children, youth and families in North America in order to encourage awareness about the art of compassion and the importance of helping others, in this case the children orphaned by AIDS in Tanzania. It is the intention of this documentary to elevate the African AIDS Orphans from problematic victims to unique individuals with creative abilities hopes and dreams. I will have a screening of Thank You Tanzania at 555 Mount Pleasant Road on October 6th, 2008 @ 7:00 p.m. Please do come!

This flick created a foundation for the second documentary titled: Vintage Groove; a film that profiles my lovely senior dancers. Together we travelled afar and participated in the most extraordinary festival called theTogbi Apetorku Spring Festival - a celebration of life, good health and prosperity. Along with internationally renowned good friend and Master Drummer, Kwasi Dunyo and my camera crew- Darren Shearer and Summer Love accompanied the group to Africa. At the heart of my film lays a message about the collective joy expressed in communal dance and how dance has enriched their lives as they age gracefully. Do see the article in Canadian Jewish News, July 17th, 2008 re: Seniors Dance Troupe Performs in Ghana.

My work in Montreal will begin this fall. Commuting weekly, I will be directing a children's stage production of The Sound of Music. Last spring Darren and I resurrected Equilibrio at the Priory, a wonderful private school in Westmount. Our Hilo Production company will return in the spring to mount Purple River, a mystical tale about the Mitzus and Yochis, creatures that lived in peace and harmony on the Island of Seisei. I look forward to connecting to the community there. They are so appreciative for the arts. It is a joy to be create and direct in the province of Quebec. I also plan to present a few workshops for teachers in Montreal and Winnipeg in the month of November and February.

On November 30, 2008 I will be producing and directing the Second Annual Vintage Variations; a cabaret show that profiles the creativity and talents of a senior population. Giuseppe Condello will present The Little Tailor, The Vintage Dancers will perform 2 dances and special guests will keep the audience bopping for the entire evening. All money raised will go towards an education program for girls in the village of Dagbamete.

During the summer of 2009 and 2010 I will be directing a program in Africa called The Big Little Caravan of Joy. During the first summer I will be mapping a route and creating connections in order to host the program with volunteers and artists in 2010. The caravan will hit 6 countries in Africa travelling to Senegal, Ghana, Tanzania, Swaziland, Mali, South Africa and will end in Madagascar. The Big Little Caravan intends to create a cultural cohesion in performance and celebration with performing artists and children. The visiting caravan will collaborate with artists from the hosting country to create an experience much like a performing arts summer camp for the children. With a veritable who's who from the world of entertainment lending their name to the project in conjunction with the American foundation Circus Remedy (Anthony Lucero and Chrisse Harnos- love those two) and myself this project has the opportunity to develop a sustainable educational and creative program that will last for many years to come. The Camp Scheme will run for one-two weeks, very much like a traditional arts camp, with an intention to create a performance. The final day will be dedicated to rehearsing for the circus show performed by both children and circus performers. An original children’s story, song and art project that evolves around one theme will act as a spring board for the performance and will be narrated by a story teller in the language of the hosting country. This is a big one for me and I hold the vision with love, commitment and joy.

Can I do it all? Run my performing art studio, promote and complete the life of 2 docs, design, fund raise and fascilitate the most intense project of my lifetime. Only time will tell. I remain in love with life's adventures, filled with curiosity and bursting with gratitude at the honour of being a mother of 3 tremendous teens, director of film & theatre, dancer and artiste!

Peace out,