Celebrating Magnificence: Diwali Celebration Participants
Sunday, Nov 11
Indian meal $10 at 5:30 pm
Free performance at 6:15 pm
This year marks Still & Moving Center’s 8th celebration of the Indian festival of lights, Diwali. Each year members of our faculty, staff and student body joyfully contribute their energy, creative juices and enthusiasm to this joyous fête – celebrated in our unique multicultural way. This year is no exception!
Perhaps Malia Helela, our kumu hula, is the sole 8 year participant. Even director, Renée Tillotson had to miss a year! Malia has choreographed special hulas for either trained or totally untrained (!) dancers, narrated our enactment of the Ramayana epic, acted, given solo dance performances herself, and cooked tasty dishes! Her sons Kaiehu and Waiea graduated in their roles – or perhaps demoted! – from young princes to members of the demon hordes, and this year for the first time perform with the hula kahiko group doing ancient style hula.
Sooriya Kumar of Mouna Farm Arts and Cultural Village has also regularly participated, usually chanting a Sanskrit mantra, often providing Indian food from his organic farm, once hosting our Diwali at his farm for an overnight celebration, occasionally providing beautiful copper art pieces.
Doris Morisaki – like many of her fellow students – has danced hula on repeated occasions, with Doris making the additional contribution of coordinating practices and filling in for nearly every part in the play during practices. Ms Willow Chang frequently features her Bollywood dancers and has even performed the female lead Princess Sita. Yoga teacher David Sanders has appropriately played the part of a yogic sage.
Dayl Workman has made her mark on the stage with memorable performances of the demon princess and bitter step-mother, this year roaring onto the stage as the demon king Ravana. Nia Black Belt Krista Hiser and her aerialist daughter Violette Skilling have often contributed their talents, with Aerial teacher Kezia Holm coordinating airborne performances.
Members of the Indian community of Honolulu have frequently lent their talents, with Abhilasha Garg providing costume consultation this year, and India Cafe often catering the Indian dinner.
Some of our memorable performances include Jivatmata Messageur and Sarah Hodges each as the beautiful Princess Sita. Both Amit Heri and Bharat Das nobly carried the role of Prince Ram. Unforgettable Ravanas include Jerome Mester de Trevino and Murat Demirtas – both powerful dancers. Our notable battle scenes have included Kung Fu by Bruno Ballestrero, and Kendo contributed by Master Jonah Chin’s students this year.
One of Renée’s favorite Ramayana experiences was playing the flying monkey hero Hanuman!
Everyone is reserving seats early… only 108 places. We’ll see you there if you can make it!