Sneak Peak Into India!

Sneak peak into India!

How we started out the new year!

How we started out the new year!

Words from Liv:

Our three weeks in Udaipur were filled with creativity, strengthening community, and deepening relationships. Building towards ShaktiFest with David and Rita, Peace Pole planting on the Shaktipur land, learning traditional Rajasthani dance with Vijay Lakshmi (with pots on our heads!) kept us busy. 

We woke to do yoga every morning at sunrise on the roof of Millets of Mewar Guest House with the VanaMoms and VanaDad Steve (who also provided the most awesome flute music for our performances). We enjoyed rehearsing and doing ballet barre with Margot at sunset on the other end of the rooftop, sunrise walks with Dr. Sareen on Fateh Sagar, eating amazing creatively and lovingly prepared organic food at Millets of Mewar restaurant overlooking Lake Pichola. We worked at a school for the blind doing percussive dance and music with Bharat and his students there.

Working in a school for the blind with Bharat and Bill.

Working in a school for the blind with Bharat and Bill.

On New Years day, we traveled to the village of Molela and performed in their first ShaktiFest Molela. We were thrilled to have tea with the Maharana and Maharani! We began to plan to teach a world dance/ global studies course at Bhopal Nobles College next semester at the request of the Maharana. We continued our planning for the future Shakti Academy of Dance and Healing Arts, dancing with the Kojis (seekers) from Swaraj at Tappovan, Shikshantur and also at Shaktipur. We love meeting new people every day who seem to all connect to the beautiful web of life in Udaipur and building towards a better more vibrant world together here.

Yesterday we got up early and Kabra-ji, our unofficial and totally essential tour manager, was there to help us pack out of the Millets of Mewar Guest House. Joel, Moo, Margot, Bill and I (and all of our instruments and baggage) packed into a car and off we went to Ahmedabad to meet Mallika Sarabhai. 

Wonderful experience spending the afternoon at Darpana in Ahmedabad with dance legend Mallika Sarabhai.  Rebuilding her beautiful academy and major amphitheatre.  Bill and I attended her theatre company's rehearsal tonight. Feeling so grateful to be here together.

Wonderful experience spending the afternoon at Darpana in Ahmedabad with dance legend Mallika Sarabhai.  Rebuilding her beautiful academy and major amphitheatre.  Bill and I attended her theatre company's rehearsal tonight. Feeling so grateful to be here together.

We arrived at Darpana Academy, founded by her mother and now directed by Mallika, and settled down to lunch at the cafe.  Very worth googling and looking at YouTube clips and learning about the amazing and ground-breaking work she and her mother have done in Indian Dance.  Mallika also played the lead years ago in Peter Brooks Mahabarata production that played at The Harvey at BAM.  We got a tour of Darpana and watched some classes in Bharata Natyam, as the future structure of what will be their renovated amphitheater and then it was time for Moo, Margot and Joel to drive back to Udaipur. 

Parting ways in Ahmedabad.

Parting ways in Ahmedabad.

Joel was hoping to meet Mallika's son Revanna, as suggested by David and Rita.   Oddly enough,  an hour after they left, Bill and I were in the cafe and I wanted to take one of my notorious 20 minute catnaps.  Bill looked around for someone to talk to and found this lovely young man eating dinner.  After about 15 minutes we realized he was Mallika's son! Then her daughter came over to us and said,  "I remember when you two taught a Master class/ workshop at Sarah Lawrence on the use of traditional dance and rhythms in creative work." What a small world.  At 7:30 we got to see a rehearsal of their dance company in a medley of Indian folk dances.  Beautiful, heartfelt and joyful.  This morning we watched one of the dancers, a veteran of Mallika's company for 23 years, teach kalaripayatu, Indian martial art... amazing.  Joel would have loved this too!  Then I got to take a yoga class at Darpana before leaving for the airport.  Meanwhile, yesterday on the way to Ahmedabad, I contacted Kashmirah Shah in the States who taught us our first Indian folk dances in 1990 and who gave us the set of beautiful Gujarati costumes that we use in our school dance residencies.  Some of you may remember making the world dance videos with Kashmirah on the stage of Studley Theatre in the Old Main Building at SUNY New Paltz in the early 90's. We knew Kashmirah had grown up in Ahmedabad and wanted her advice about a place to stay.  True to the warmth and hospitality we have experienced all over India, her cousin/ brother, Jaypal, met us this morning at the hotel, spent time with us and drove  us to the airport to fly out to Kochi (next adventure).  

The Caravan is in India!

Did you know?

The Vanaver Caravan established a partnership umbrella in India called Shakti Caravan? Click that link to learn more, follow Miranda's personal blog to stay updated, and read this wonderful article about a celebration in Udaipur.

It was such a powerful way to start the year. Traveling into a small village about 2 hours away from Udaipur where Big Medicine created Molela Shakti Sunday. Over a thousand people attended. Bharat’s group, the Heartbeators performed along with lots of local folks and our Youth Dance Company danced 6 pieces interspersed throughout the evening. Margot Abrahams who teaches ballet during SummerDance, danced to Leonard Cohen’s Halleluyah to the music beautifully arranged by Bill and performed by Steve Kent on flute, Bill on guitar and the Youth Company singing harmony on the chorus. This was a place where we were definitely in the minority and were treated so warmly amidst the curiosity andendless selfie requests. It was an honor to be part of this festival.....the first time for this village.
— Words from Livia
Dancing with the Heartbeators in Udaipur.

Dancing with the Heartbeators in Udaipur.


Spring Dance begins Monday, January 9, 2017 -
Register Now!

     ** NOTE FOR MaMA IN STONE RIDGE CLASSES: Route 213 over Rondout Creek bridge construction. The bridge carrying Route 213 over the Rondout Creek will be closed to traffic throughout our whole semester. A signed detour will direct Route 213 onto Cottekill Road. Please plan accordingly!

Weekend Reflections

Well, our show went smoothly on Sunday at the Ellenville High School. Into the Light filled the audience with warmth as we danced dances from Sweden, Poland, India, Nigeria... As we danced Chanukah and Christmas dances, and celebrations of light and the winter solstice. Accompanied by our musicians and the singers of Barely Lace, the theater was full of authentic sounds and beautiful music. Our story of young Lucia was welcomed by all as Neve Parker did an extraordinary job with her beautiful dancing. 

Rehearsals starting early Sunday, with dancers of all ages coming together. When not on stage, we readied ourselves backstage and helped prepare costumes and Arm-of-the-Sea's puppets. The CaravanKids from Ellenville joined us and fit right in, making friends easily with our little dancers from New Paltz. 

We had a wonderful time sharing our dance and celebration with all, as we always do. 

Preparing for Into the Light! L-R: Neve Parker, Rafal Pustelny, Livia Vanaver (front), Emily Vanston, Gustavo Caldas, Robert Melikyan, Samantha Lawton, Brian Lawton (front)

Preparing for Into the Light! L-R: Neve Parker, Rafal Pustelny, Livia Vanaver (front), Emily Vanston, Gustavo Caldas, Robert Melikyan, Samantha Lawton, Brian Lawton (front)


UP NEXT: FOLLOW OUR ADVENTURE AS WE EMBARK TO INDIA!
Check out Shakti Caravan to see some of the great things we have been working on in India. 


Make your tax deductible donation before the New Year! Help us on our road to India. 

News from the Caravan

L-R: Alena Brocker, Neve Parker, Toby Stover, Joel Hanna, Samantha Lawton, Brian Lawton, Jesse Kotansky,  Barbara Martinez, Gustavo Caldas, Fode Sissoko

L-R: Alena Brocker, Neve Parker, Toby Stover, Joel Hanna, Samantha Lawton, Brian Lawton, Jesse Kotansky,  Barbara Martinez, Gustavo Caldas, Fode Sissoko

After a long weekend and school shows today of Festivals of Light. We are at a delicious Turkish restaurant down the street from the beach!! A much deserved change from torrential rain and freezing theatres. Ahh... sun.
— Livia

The company members boarded their flight to Miami, Florida with great anticipation a few days ago. They welcomed Joel Hanna, who came all the way from Canada, and celebrated Alena and Neve joining as company members! Nights were filled with dancing and music. Festivals of Light did exactly what it was made to do... It brought light into the darkest time of the year.

The Caravan is back in New York and gearing up for our next big event-- Into the Light in Ellenville! We have the adult company joining us for this show, as well as our dancers in our Ellenville program at the Ellenville Public Library. This performance will be the first for many young dancers (this is the first time some of our Ellenville students have ever danced!) and we are thrilled with all their hard work and focus. They surely will shine brightly. 

Please join us Saturday, December 17 (Snow-date Sunday Dec 18) at the Ellenville High School (28 Maple Ave., Ellenville NY) for Into the Light! The show begins at 3:00 pm. 

*Suggested donation at the door*

**IN CASE OF INCLEMENT WEATHER PLEASE CALL ELLENVILLE PUBLIC LIBRARY TO SEE IF THE SHOW WILL BE POSTPONED UNTIL SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18th! 845.647.5530**


Consider giving the gift of dance or a dance bag for the holidays!

Register online for SpringDance and check out our online store!


Lastly, the time to make a tax deductible donation is now!

 

Please consider making a contribution or becoming one of our Sustaining Partners.

Our new Sustaining Partnership opportunity:
• Contribute an automatic monthly gift, of any amount, through our new website
• Sustaining Partnerships spread the financial impact of their giving across the entire year
• Sustaining Partnerships regulate company cash flow and facilitate forecasting

Sustaining Partners make automatic monthly contributions of any amount and can be anonymous or recognized through both print and online exposure. They are also given first choice to sponsor special initiatives as they arise.

Your tax-deductible, unrestricted contribution is used to support programs that help The Vanaver Caravan fulfill its mission to promote peace through world dance and music, facilitating respect and understanding, and celebrating the diversity of our community.

We Thrive Because Of You.