Monday, April 13, 2015

...on the rite track

     Ago Ire'o Monday - Egun iba'se - May the road be open in good in fortune, 
give praise to the life of the Ancestors. 

           For over 20 years, bit-by-bit, I begin to honor Mondays as a designated ritual day - for listening, propitiating, for sitting, committing to the day's work in service, divinely guided. Only by permission do I actually work in a traditional office setting or take on "work" on this day. These ways and means have served well flowing into a daily way of life. It'd be by way of field research works and several Dance sojourns that the historical correlations of these rituals began to resonate strongly for me. Immersed in an early foundation of study and guidance through African Ancestral spiritual traditions from Kemet and IFA to Kongo Cosmology, extended itself to identifying these cultural retentions inside of Candomble, like reverencing Exu on a Monday, to a familial custom of red beans and rice Mondays, historically deemed as "Laundry Day" in New Orleans and upon Caribbean plantations alike.  This beloved protein enriched meal was practical because beans can cook all day while working. Today, I never tire from cooking nor eating beans and rice in the Bay nor New Orleans, Cuba and Bahia. [smile]
Unearthing Ancestral works guided and saluting the divinity in these works here
& beyond 
fotos: nzoCALIFA 
Mondays have become a day of centering vital in guiding the course of activity in not only my week, but my life building Spiritual equity, if you will.  Often, strengthening these ties have become a necessary nutrient to continue to fortify what I do - how I work, with whom, how I Dance, and when shall I carry out the tasks at hand. To deprive oneself of a wholistic Spiritual diet, leads to unnecessary suffering with further deprivation that fills ones work with additional trials, sometimes not necessarily ones own. 
I reflect upon the recent transition of Indian Classical Dance Master Teacher and friend, Pandit Chritresh Das. In January 2015, amongst a field of family, friends, students and community, what I found most profound about his memorial service, was his voice amplified over a  loud speaker delivering this mantra posthumously:

                                                         "Practice is the Ritual" 

To engrain ritual into your life, aids in improving your breath, guiding you to speak and invoke wisdom; it teaches you how to work smart, walk your talk and prayerfully places you upon the rite track. àṣẹ 'o
wee hour meditations: In some instances the "much" you do may seem like a lot done with more work to do, seemingly like you haven't done enough. In these instances, STOP and take 5 deep breaths, and invoke a moment of gratitude, while creating a visual picture of your achievements each day; then begin to honor the order and progress you've made along the way and be sure to give thanks, with a smile.  Now I encourage you to listen to Esu inspirations espoused through the spiritual prowess and mediumship of WolfHawkJaguar.  Ago Ire'o, Ago lona!          [a'dupe Brother Adimu Madyun]

~R. Califa, Nzo Califa Dance Works

WolfHawkJaguar - "Esu on the Left" ~393Films

Thursday, April 9, 2015

#CSQWest10: Night of Tribute - Bay Cultural Gatekeepers

May 28, 2015 -- San Francisco, CA  Oakland Bay Area's Congo SQ West Kinship Society 10th year commemoration boasts a partnering venture with the San Francisco International Arts Festival producing its Flagship event - A Night of Tribute in Dance, Guest of Honor Dance Pioneer - Ms. Blanche Brown, Master Teacher. #CSQWest10 [click link for more info]

Featuring a rare Bay Area Haitian Dance reunion, Carnaval performance by Latin Dance Grooves with special Communal recognition commemorating Congo SQ West's 10th year "...of good works and prosperity."

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Carnaval San Francisco boasts a night of #Shine

March 28--San Francisco, CA - BRAVA Theater
      The 2015 launch of the Carnaval San Francisco King & Queen competition was a FULL house filled with various contingents from throughout the Bay Area, South Bay and Peninsula, bejeweled with Carnaval Royalty past  and legends present. The evening was filled with alegria as 16 contestants put forth their best presentation in hopes of gaining the crown. Cultural dances from Brazil, Trinidad & Tobago with popular Salsa combos, to Carioca foot works and dare one Vogue! Live Drums filled the Theater with Batala San Francisco and Carnaval Producer Roberto Hernandez commanded the crowd's attention chanting "no eviction" in the Mission. 
I was particularly impressed by the grace, form and poise of CUICACALLI an international cross-cultural dance-arts educational institution as their Mexican folcloric presentation was elegant delivering Dance quality ever so poised by its youth. Applauso to the Directorship of Jesus "Jacoh" Cortes, and loved seeing Sistas-wit-Style dance with such pride and vigor a national Caribbean folk dance steeped in West African traditions -- Bélé. A major congrats to Carnaval San Francisco organizers, Volunteers, contestants and community with a grand salute to our new Carnaval Royalty. See quick pix below and wanna see more?! see nzoCALIFA Flickr album [click link] Que' Viva Carnaval! ~R. Califa

March 2015 King & Queen competition Carnaval SF -