Initiated in 1999 by his Holiness the Dalai Lama to mark the millennium with a message of peace, cultural understanding and spirituality, this year the 16-day World Festival of Sacred Music will showcase music and movement by a 1000 artists from all over the world in Los Angeles' historic landmark theaters, churches, temples and oudoor spaces.
Over the years, the festival, which takes place September 13-28, has grown to encompass everything from gospel, to aboriginal didgeridoo, Buddhist chanting, Latin American folklorico dance and kirtan.
On September 21, the Global Mala project will join the festival with kundalini teachings from Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa; 108 sun salutations hosted by Shiva Rea, Seane Corn, Hala Khouri, and teachers from 108 southern California yoga studios/centers; sacred music with Donna De Lory, Govindas and Radha, Joey Lugassy, Saul David Raye, Suzanne Sterling, Wah!, and Wade Imre Morrissette; yoga trance dance ignited by Shiva Rea with DJ Dragonfly. The evening concludes with kirtan—a blissful 108-repetition cycle of Om chanting with the members of the Global Mala Project Sacred Music Members.
And, on September 20th, Los Angeles dancer and yoga teacher Micheline Berry will direct her Shaman's Dream World Groove Ensemble, which celebrates the music and dance of West Africa, Brazil and Cuba. Really, it's an ecstatic dance party, a chance for audience participation so put on some comfortable clothes and get ready to let it go and go and go.
As the summer draws to an end, you may want to check out the closing ceremony on September 28th, which is a free event on Santa Monica beach, featuring 300 artists including Banda Juvenil Solago from Oaxaca and 100 hula dancers, who will chant and dance on the sands in reverence of Kanaloa, the Hawaiian deity of the ocean. Sounds like a party I don't want to miss.
photo: Antoine Bensorte from www.michelineberry.com