Art, Culture, and Ocean Conservation . . .

  


Aloha from the land of rainbows, flora, fauna, and magick. I have found myself sinking deeper and deeper into the craters left behind from oozing magma that brought these islands (and the rest of the world) into existence!
  Maui is full of secrets, surprises, blessings and adventures. Watching all the sands combine in the car seats turning them black, white, and red. Silhouettes of butterflies float across curtains while sweet blossoms of papaya wift through the air. Driving under a golden dragon eye Moon in time to catch sunrise from 10,000 feet on a Helaekala crater to acres of lavender farms as far as the eye can see. Jumping off of 20 foot cliffs and then snorkeling a 1/2 mile to get to the next beach while listening to the whales sing underwater the entire way! Floating on your back in an idealyc pool at the bottom of a waterfall gazing lovingly at a perfect chesire cat moon smiling down on you. There is not much more you need in life to feel content. 

  The access to fresh fruit and healthy living is abundant and comes with ease. Maui is constantly conspiring to keep us here longer and pull us back on her shores. Everything from roadside dips in fresh water pools to hiking 10 minutes to feast our eyes on triple waterfall views to spinning fire in the middle of a secret beach party (catch some of that here https://instagram.com/p/BApUtK8QgTN/ and here https://instagram.com/p/BApVBmcwgUa/- Maui has exceeded my expectations on all levels. 

We drove out to Hana for a few days and luxuriated in her splendor. Venus pool was a ridiculous pleasure. A pleasant protected tidepool filled with salt water and streaming sunshine. A family near by was seen selling fish and when we asked to get some they said aloha and didn’t want a penny for it and then ran inside and got us the special peppers they grew and told us how to make their favorite sauce. We still gave them something for their bounty- but the spirit of Aloha is ever present here. 

  At seven sacred pools all of my waterfall dreams were answered. I’ve been to more than 75 waterfalls in the past three years and this was by far the most dreamy experience yet. It’s what you wish for when you dream of waterfalls. Refreshing freshwater pools, rocks smoothed by the years of water flowing over them for lounging in the warm sun, falls at various heights making an impressive journey through the earth to the sea, rainbows shooting off the mist-It made my mermaid heart sing. 

At one point while climbing the porous volcanic walls – whose knobs and crevices fit perfectly in my hands and feet I heard a loud message that the earth will tell me exactly what to do. I was astounded by my heart opening and listening to the earth loud and clear! Where to scramble, what to grab onto, what to eat, where to adventure and when to turn around. It’s been a pretty incredible and enlightening experience. It only continues to support my conclusion that everything humans need to survive and thrive here comes from the earth itself. We look in so many places and substitute so many other unnecessary things but in the end all we need is already here. 

  Mahalo Mother Earth for sharing your bounty with us. My wish is for each of you reading this to take a moment and appreciate all the ways in which the earth and the universe support us whole heartedly. Let go of the things that no longer serve you and bask in beauty of the lands, waters, sun, and seas. If we all gave ourselves permission to take this time what an incredible world this could be. 

  
And now here I sit watching the sunrise from the sky. Still salty from my last maui swim where the sunset was bouncing off the shore and whales were breeching out on the horizon. My heart is forever warmed from the countless rainbows, whales, sea turtles, and thriving aquatic life encounters, fresh foods and coconut nectar, and good friends and family that surrounded this trip. The aloha spirit will keep me warm for the next chapter of my east coast adventures. May my story warm and inspire you as well. 

It’s places like these that help me harness my magick. But you don’t have to be in far away lands to get to this place in your heart. We harness our magick every time we surround ourselves with things that bring us joy, charge us up, get into our flow through dance, hoop, yoga, or meditation, and lovingly adorn ourselves with scents, sparkles, and creams. There are so many ways we can prepare ourselves to successfully take on the days ahead! Join me on Instagram @aliluminescent and let me know how you #harnessyourmagick by adding this hashtag to the posts of photos that bring you joy. The more YOU harness your magick the more it encourages others around you to do the same! Next thing you know we will all be wrapped up and supported in gorgeous gooey love ball of worldly magick! And may it be so! 

May this world support you in all the ways you wish and especially in the ways you never knew it needed to! 
Aloha and Shine bright! 

-=ali*

Ali Luminescent  

Traveling Japan

Leaving Japan not only softer in skin but softer in spirit. The kindness of people is humbling. Gifts, bows, curtsy’s, two handed waiving until you are completely out of sight and the unbelievable genuine sincerity is overwhelming. Bicycles line the sidewalks unlocked and untouched. Umbrellas wait on street sides in case you forgot your own. Ongoing consideration for others and finding the greatest gratitude in helping others is paramount. It is easy to say that the people of Japan are the kindest, sweetest, most loving people I have ever encountered on planet earth.

The landscape here is diverse and dreamlike. Mountains, oceans, trails, cities, temples, and shrines in the most unexpected of places. Once arriving it finally makes sense where every anime movie ever came from. What an incredible place.

Mineral rich volcanic hotsprings are honored and utilized in every moment. What a better ending to a night on the town, a long day at work, a hike in the woods, or a holiday excursion -than soaking in a mineral rich naturally boiling volcanic pool rising from the earth? Great idea Japan! So efficient! Always harnessing and honoring the power of the earth in all that they do.

Bath houses came in various sizes and styles- from deluxe outdoor mountainside, to saltwater seaside, to a small room by a lil river. Pine and cedar waft around you as steam envelopes the dreamland of relaxation you have stumbled upon. Regardless, every experience was delightful as the one after and the one before. The houses are separated by gender and nudity is no big deal. Body image issues are cast aside as every age group are just different formations of skin and bones as each person gets down on their lil wooden stool and completely scrubs and cleans their whole body before soaking in a variety of temperature and mineral rich pools. The bath houses are not for BATHING they are for very clean people to sit and soak and heal. So lovely!! So rewarding. Muscle aches, pains, cramps, concerns, and worries melt away as the water, earth, air and fire spirits work together in perfect pine roasted harmony for these moments to occur.

Sanackos await you on the other side of your experience. Nice ginger tea or matcha (green tea) are served liberally and always with sweet respect. Tea biscuits, pancakes, plum rice treats, triangular nori snacks filled with a variety of surprises are just a few of the outrageously delicious (oyishi!!) options. Like it or “nato” America has got nothing on the taste and healthiness of Japan’s snacks! Wow! The food, the food, THE FOOD! Seto or bento style meals are my favorite. Every meal is a work of art as each small dish compliments the next in texture and flavor. Seafood is a big part of most meals and their rice is served as a delicacy. They pickle everything in lil bits and add tangy flourishes to every meal. We were fed like kings and queens across this country- silver platters with rising plumes of steam and all. It has been incredible!

Timeliness, efficiency, and effectiveness reigns supreme in Japanese culture. Typical Japanese business etiquette is that if you think you may be late-plan to arrive 30 minutes early. The trains run PERFECTLY on time. I have never experienced a more timely transit system in my entire life (and pleasant and clean too)! Every mode of transit ran impeccably on time to the minute. All the people wait patiently in line for the train to empty and then in a calm orderly single-file line board the train leaving seats for elders, mothers and children, and disabled. Everyone treats each other with sweet respect and is kind and thoughtful apologizing and thanking each person 3-5 times per interaction. What an amazingly considerate place-wow.

We had so many wonderful adventures here in these past few weeks visiting a range of locations. Each place unique in landscape and full of pride, history, and yummy treats special to that area. Tokyo, Gifu, Kyoto, Wakayama, And Hiroshima were the main prefectures we made it to.

In Tokyo we caught up with dear friends and made new ones, filmed a music video, ate at skyscraper restaurants, saw the Robot Restauraunt show and had hanami (picnic under the cherry blossom trees)! We were fortunate enough to catch Sakura- the two week span where most of the country erupts in fluffy intoxicating pink and white cherry blossoms. We romantically rowed a boat along the lake of the Imperial Palace- blossoms rained down on us and we made storybook trails through where they would float on the surface on the water. We saw them lit up at night and tasted a variety of sanackos and durinkos flavored by them. Coming during Sakura was such a sweet delight Im glad we waited to take our honeymoon until this time.

In Gifu history unfolded before us as we hiked the original road from Kyoto to Tokyo through a prime evil forest shrouded in mist. Waterfalls, waterwheels, and a tea house emerged along our journey.

Kyoto was a storybook lost in time and soaked in blossoms. We met a real Japanese Princess. The 4th Person in 50 years reaching the distinguishable honor of Tayu- she met with us before a client which is simply unheard of our other friends in Japan had exclaimed. We were very honored and thankful for the opportunity. We were befriended by an amazing local couple that runs this great shop! If you are ever in Kyoto check out M-Hero’s handmade goods! http://www.m-hero.fr/english/english-index.html

We trekked through shrines and temples, attended tea ceremonies, and even hopped a fence and climbed a mountain and were rewarded with one of the best views of Kyoto and a never to be forgotten glass tea house by artist

Kii Tanabe (Wakayama) had unforgettable tide pools and a pilgrimage trail. It was raining the day we took our hike and we were blessed with meeting tons of forest crabs (! What crabs in the forest?!) and these amazing iridescent foot long worms!!! They changed color with every moment they were magical!!

Hirishima Perfecture included epic Island stay with salt water onsen’s and the famed bunny island I’ll tell you more about that below. We took time to visit the peace park and the Atomic Bomb memorial site. It was moving and intense. An important moment in history we must all remember to never repeat. As a matter of fact I hope war is something that we can say goodbye to in our lifetime. I know that politics are tricky and there are a lot of egos, oil, and money at stake- but in the end- is it really worth it? When will basic human rights raise above the quest of ownership in our global priorities? More on this at another time moving on. . .

Animals are beloved in Japan. There aren’t so many critters and creatures around but in the areas where they exist- they flourish and are showered with kindness.

First off the birds here are HUGE! Ravens, crows, eagles and hawk swoop around screeching and cawing to their hearts delight. Large fish are common, lots of cute dogs, and of course Cat Cafes-but then there were several powerful animal medicines we came into contact with- first was the area of Nara outside Kyoto where there are tons of deer! You get to feed them deer biscuits and watch them slurp up sakura petals. They are sweet, snuggle, and a lil rascally if you have food in your pocket.

Next, we visited Ōkunoshima- the magical island of BUNNIES! This Island has a sad history but a magical an epic present! Thousands of wild domesticated bunnies hop around this hilly seaside bramble. It is spring and they are bunnies so we had the fortune of hanging around until sunset when the baby bunnies roused from their dens to snack and hop from side to side along the trail.

Last but certainly not least was our highly anticipated and forever fortunate visit to the one and only Owl Cafe! Justin and I had the honor to spend time with over 20 different owls getting to hold, pet, and photograph a fair amount of them. What a deep and moving experience! Wow! Whoooo would have thought that Tokyo was smart enough to come up with this amazing opportunity. The owls were calm, treated very well, all had been hand-raised and some of them even had the day off that day and all were given breaks between groups of regulated numbers of visitors. It was tricky to hunt this place down and even many of my Tokyo friends didn’t know it existed. The price had doubled from what I found online but it was worth every penny. But for 2000¥/$20USD we got to spend an hour of quality time with some of the wisest birds on earth. Here is the link-http://wandertokyo.com/tokyo-owl-cafe/  you must make reservations in person and the day books out in about 1-1.5 hours of opening.

Barely off the ground in Japan and I already miss it. My husband tapped my arm and directed me to the ground crew outside our airplane window- waving with both hands and bowing until we road out of site.

What an amazing country, experience, and choice for our honeymoon. Over and over we kept finding ourselves floored by all the wonder and delights of Japan. One thing is sure-we will be back again before we know it.

Dreaming in Color

As a girl with crazy hair for most of my life I had an interesting phenomenon come over me last spring- for the first time ever I was at a total loss of what to do with my hair! Typically in control of every aspect of my image- this took me by surprise.

So when I was asked by the hottest salon in town (http://www.aereasalon.com/) if I would allow a no holds bar cut and color to be a model for the new line of colors by Manic Panic I jumped at the opportunity!

Growing up in Texas as an alterna-grunge-goth grrrl in the 90’s you had limited options for making your lochs the colors of your dreams. I tried everything from berries to kool-aid, but every now and then I could snag a dab of the highly sought after Manic Panic and it worked like a dream! Tish and Snooky, the creators of Manic Panic and forerunners of the original punk movement in the 70s were totally my hero’s! The fact that I was privy to their unreleased magick potion felt like I had just won the lottery.

Excited, I met with Jeanise Aviles, one of the amazing colorists at Aerea Salon, for the consultation and she gave me the option of picking between pink or yellow. Yellow?! An unreleased vibrant “Sunshine Yellow”?! I was sold- and then as what was about to happen washed over me- I was struck with the awe inspiring realization that. . .I had become my teenage idol.

Wow! I never thought the girl I dreamed of being in my twisted crazy teenage dreams, that I saw on posters like Switchblade Symphony, or in late night videos on120 minutes was actually possible. But here I am-receiving the full-on professional treatment for the brightest hair I have had to date.

Like a pretty pretty princess the ladies of Aerea salon took good care of me! We promptly set up a shoot which I can finally share! Here are the long awaited Manic Panic Photos!! Enjoy!

Salon: Aerea Salon

Colorist/Photographer: Jeanise Aviles

Model:    Ali Luminescent

Hair Cut: Arleen Quinones

MUA:       Christine Geiger

Assist:     Ariane Garcia

(Ariane is also a radical colorist as well!! Glad she was there to help out with the shoot! )

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And here are a few edits I was playing around with just for fun! Enjoy!

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And the winner of the shoot! Image

What do your hair dreams look like? Feel free to post images in the comments below!

Vibrantly Yours~

-=ali*

Ali Luminescent

http://www.aliluminescent.com

https://www.jeanpaulgaultier.com/en

The Gaultier exhibit  From Sidewalk to Catwalk at the Brooklyn Museum is fantastic! Truly cutting edge, guiding new trends, exposing people’s fears and celebrating diversity. A designer speaking volumes through garments across the ages. What an enjoyable way to learn more about this revolutionary designer!

The first room won me over with his sparkling and elegant mermaid collection! Splash! Impressive textiles and great forms lounged around in the opening room inviting all to dive into his world.

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It brings me great joy to see impressive, inspiring, and counterculture flavor in mainstream media. The show is well thought out and carefully put together- full of quotes and snippets of an artist truly being his own voice in a world of boundaries and expectations.

It is amazing to see someone cut through barriers of price in the fashion world and celebrate their unique voice and style. One of my favorite looks from his very first shows was the placemat dress made from cheap woven placemats from the Philippines. Resourcefulness can go a long way!

Another inspiring thing happening here is an artist celebrated and revered while he is still alive!! This is a great practice! Artists should be sought out and appreciated while they are still in action and can enjoy their success.

Don’t miss this show! It closes February 23, 2014.

Click here to view the Brooklyn Museum Website for details on the exhibition!

One day at a party Bruce flipped a shiny coin into the air. Its iridescence caught my glance and summoned this faerie right over for a closer look.

“TREASURE!!” My inner heart screamed!

Inscribed into the iridescent acrylic coin was a beautiful dragonfly! This was the first of many creations that Bruce Lindsay created that caused my jaw to drop in awe and splendor.

Fusing his collective past interests and experience in armor and chain mail with his involvement in the underground art scene-Bruce creatively stumbled onto the idea-of-the-century for creative fashion lovers at large. He calls it Electric Candy Couture.Electric Candy is one of the coolest fashion accessories or outfits one can own. Not only is it interesting, different, hand-made, iridescent, glows in black light, and pretty much makes any look more awesome- it’s super light, easy to use, and priced fairly for the hours upon hours of manual labour that go into each unique and interesting piece. I got to experience the craftsmanship and possibilities of Electric Candy when I modeled for him last fall. I have to say- I’m hooked!

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(Photo by Loren Darklyng )

Small trinkets to full on gladiator headpieces to winged shoulders with ancient inscriptions in them- Electric Candy has a little something for everyone. I love wearing Electric Candy due to its uniqueness, light weight, durability, and ease of use. Personally, I am looking forward to collaborating on the design of a full body piece/dress created out of his colorful iridescent acrylic pieces in 2014.

Bruce is prolific, diligent, and has an eye for color and fashion. If he can dream it- he can make it. There is simply nothing that can stop him from being a successful upstart independent business in this corporate fueled world- but there is something that could help him on his way– funding! He has 6 days left to raise $19,000. So in the season of giving I encourage you to check out artist Bruce Lindsay’s Kickstarter to bring Electric Candy Couture to the next level!

Help this artist bring more awesome into the world and take home a piece for yourself by pitching in! He is offering tons of his pieces at 20% less directly through the kickstarter to help him reach his goal in six short days. If you are excited about his work but can’t donate- help by sharing his kickstarter and getting out the word!

Fashionably yours~

-=ali*
Ali Luminescent

 

Merm-AID Needed!

Calling All Mermaid and Ocean Lovers! 

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  • Photo by Jesse Ammarte

As the last mermaid slithered up on the beach to survey what happened on the Coney Island Boardwalk, she saw sparkles and shells pouring forth from all the community support seen so far in Coney Island. You too can be part of this necessary Merm-AID!!! Open your treasure chest and lend a helping fin!

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  • Photo by Barry Yanowitz, The Year Coney Island Voted me Queen of the Mermaids 2009!

There is still a long way to go to bring Coney Island to the point where they can host the most ridiculously awesome parade in history- The 31st Annual Mermaid Parade!!! When I first found out about the mermaid parades existence my gills started opening up, my fins started splashing, and I could barely contain myself. I am honored to hold a trophy as Coney Island’s Best Mermaid from 2009 as well as have organized my own float for the Mermaid Parade in the past- but really the best part of being a mermaid is getting to splash around with all my seaworthy brothers and sisters on the Coney Island Boardwalk!

If humans can get anything right- they should send some clams on over this way:

Click the video or copy and paste this link “http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/377116752/save-the-coney-island-mermaid-from-extinction”

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  • Justin and I’s first real date: Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2007! 

I identify greatly with being a Mermaid (A fairie-mermaid-unicorn at that)! Each year I band together with my mer-sisters Kai Altair and Cynthia Carvajal to produce “Mermaid Lagoon.” Mermaid Lagoon is a non-profit event used to raise money and awareness for the ocean and all of its inhabitants! Keep your ear to the water for the next installment. In the meantime- lets help the Coney Island Mermaid Parade Kickstarter Campaign swell well beyond their goal!

Mermaids forever!!! Image

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  • Sam Shine biking the BoomTrike over the finish line for Enchante! Photo by Dan Howell

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  • KJ Boheme and Justin Aubuchon from Enchante Float 2010

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  • Photo by Jim Wene 2008

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  • Mermaiding for SMASH entertainment 2013

With your help we can keep the mermaids shining bright for all years to come! 

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  • Christine Gieger and Ali Luminescent’s Fire Mermaid Act at Flutearte! Gowanus Ballroom

S P L A S H! 

Every year thousands of artists and spectators lug all of their creations to the south-eastern tip of the United States to create America’s largest art fair- Art Basel Miami. While the main event is held in the convention center in Miami Beach- many fairs, installations, and openings pop-up all over town.

Looking at so much art in one place- one must be careful not to get “baseled” out! So I went forth looking at the overall shows of Art Basel Miami from a participatory art stand point on behalf of Figment Project NYC (http://figmentproject.com/).  I wanted to do more than “see” art- I wanted to experience it.

Although many places are armed with guards and “Please Do Not Touch” signs aplenty- there were several installations around town that really stood out and invited their audience to have a more intimate encounter.

Fountain Art Fair (http://www.fountainartfair.com/) was the first place that I saw art that was out rightly labeled “Touch me”! “Squeeze me!” These signs were on rock star hand puppets created by Hayley Mc Cullough. Her pieces were the first to break the barrier from just looking at art- to interacting with it.

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Around the corner at “Pete’s Fingers” magnifying glasses provided next to each piece allowed the audience to further explore the detail of his work.

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Maxine Nienow takes a closer look.

Art Miami, which paired up this year with CONTEXT art fair featured Chul Hyun Ahn’s intoxicating array of smoke and mirrors as these art pieces extended their lights into an infinite universe where all were welcome to explore.

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Below is Chul Hyun Ahn’s, “Void Platform” where literally one was requested to “Please watch your step!”

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Also at Art Miami, Andrew Erdos- A Brooklyn based artist, made 3D glass mirror boxessurrounding his blown glass pieces that allowed you to engage with the art in a different way- without touching it- but pending on where you stood you could see a whole new world from each direction from all four sides.His technique also eliminated the viewers reflection from the infinity universe created within his art.

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Across the street from Art Miami there was a participatory art piece that was a full on roller coaster through Peter Anton’s art installation “Sugar & Gomorrah!” Everyone patiently stood in line and watched guests emerge from the other side with HUGE smiles on their faces- I guess it was worth the wait!

Once in my lil yellow car I went through a series of  small hills and drops while couples on display made out and flashed me! Giant lollypops and sugary treats were installed in all directions.

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“I activate the hunger people have for the things that give them pleasure and force them to surrender,” Anton explains. “The sensual nature of the works stimulates basic human needs and desires that generate cravings and passion.”

Gina Kamentsky of  William Baczek Fine Arts showed a few interactive pieces at the Aqua Art Fair that were mechanically interactive. By turning a knob or a lever- a series of events and musical tones, knocks, whistles and movements would occur across the piece. Most of these pieces were comprised of found objects. I loved their simplicity in design and style! Here is Najva Sol putting one into action!

One of my favorite interactive pieces was at Art Public in Collins Park in front of the Bass Museum with its huge geodesic swinging pendulum! Unfortunately, I missed the artists name and am having a hard time finding it- but see it in action below!

At the actual convention center- the only piece that really caught my eye- as well as the rest of me- was the split screen surveilance camera pieces. Image

Image There were super clever mechanics at play, creativity, and perhaps a bit of teen angst seeping through these pieces. The artist (whose name is to be added later along with video links to their work) has a fascination with the concept that Big Brother is watching. In some of the pieces- animatronic children are hiding under tables and making the cameras move- along with other objects- creating that moment where you realize things aren’t really as they seem.

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While in the fine art world interactive art was present but far and few between- I feel that that real interactive spirit of Art Basel Miami was found within their graffiti and muralist scene.

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Juan Salgado, Street Artist from Puerto Rico sets up shop. 

The moment you arrive in Miami you cant help but see the crews of painters setting up at every blank wall and turning it into a phenomenal piece of street art- particularly in the Wynwood District. Each year Art Basel heralds artists from all over the world and buildings become their canvas. International artists are collaborating and making great connections everywhere you look. Signs hang in windows saying, “Compassionate muralists apply within.” Each morning you open your eyes to a new facade and chances are- the artist traveled a long way to show up and share their talent- and unlike the rest of pieces at Art Basel- this work is not for sale but only to be enjoyed for the moment and was likely created over night. Parties erupt each night and artists get excited and inspired to create more imagery to share. They build a great community and help one another out- lending scissor lifts, ladders, and paint. Its one of the few true times that street artists can come out of their sheathe of darkness and paint openly on public walls.  Groups of  viewers grow each night going piece to piece and dancing in the streets.

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They become the backdrop for this explosive art scene that encompasses Miami for the week of Basel.

Image The art doesn’t stop there though ladies and gentleman! Even I got to become participatory interactive art through Kikimora Studios (http://kikimorastudio.com/) where I performed at the Eco Art Fashion Week :Table for Two show as well as at Nikki Beach in her creations.

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Photo (c) Kikimora Studios 2012

Did you see any fun participatory art at Art Basel Miami that I didn’t cover here? Feel free to post links in the comment section!

Returning to The Dance

Excited, exhausted, exhilarated so many emotions, movements, and memories surface once returning to The Dance. My exploration in dance has been life long- but only in the past few years have I sought a teacher. Dance for me was always haphazard. It was a natural state of being that burst forth whenever the time was right. My body moving to and fro without guidance or discipline sometimes creating the most interesting shapes and styles never seen- and sometimes totally injuring myself because I wasnt using my body to support itself- because I had no idea how.

Fast forward to the past several years where performance became engrained with movement- which needed to be stylized. My arms had no where to go. My legs didnt know the beat. My mind couldnt keep up with one or the other. So then- finally- I sought a teacher. It was also one of the first times in my life I actually had the time to devote to a class. Sera Solstice, visionary, epic movement artist, friend, creatrix, and someone who totally engulfs the term WOMAN became my teacher. She took me in and let me follow her through the lunar and solar cathedrals of her twist on tribal fusion bellydance- East Coast Tribal. It hasnt been easy for me- im not one of those people born with the innate ability to do everything super awesome first time I try- its a path. Its a choice. Its a devotion and ever unwinding faerytale that has led me “home.”

Over the past few years, feeling the tugs of gypsy blood in my veins, I have started venturing further and further away from home. Performing, dancing, teaching, and playing in oceans and mountains that are older than time. My travels eventually sailed me across the sea to Indonesia where I studied traditional Balinese Dance. I was recommended to take class with an amazing dancer Nikelle Khan . She is a great teacher, beautiful soul,  and also the one responsible for introducing me to where I am now- studying Odissi dance. An ancient devotional temple dance originating from Orissa, India.

This past February I had an opportunity to go to India. My boyfriend is dedicated to Isha Yoga and was going to volunteer at the ashram and so I took this time to be a student myself- and began to learn about Odissi dance. I took a very full on workshop in southern Goa with Chantelle Devi who gave me a solid introduction in the short amount of time we had. I danced everyday for 5-7 hours a day- in my downtime I was doing an additional 2 hours of movement practice- I couldnt get enough- when I wasnt dancing Odissi- I was reading it, watching it, and soaking it in. All of this- is still only the beginning. For Odissi dance is considered so intricate and difficult that one can study it for 20 years and still be a beginner. It is a path. And here I am- rerouting back onto this path. It feels good. It feels like settling back into a routine I never had. I danced Odissi and practiced my mudras for the rest of the time I was in India- but after I returned to NYC my practice fell by the wayside and I got distracted with those typical life things- like paying rent, and re-doing my website, and getting gigs, and took up playing the musical saw, and traveling and building- such is the life for someone who has a hard time just picking one thing and getting it done lolololol. However, something happened- and I stumbled upon a sweet but strict Indian teacher that was kind enough to let me join her class. . . and I have once again- returned to the dance.

It feels good. It feels easier, smoother, still hard- but not foreign, still difficult- but attainable- in smaller doses and more manageable with the day-to-day- but also building off all those hours, moments, days, cities, countries, mountains, sunsets of experience. And so with each day- my dance grows- and my body learns and neurons fire and then tomorrow I will remember it and execute it smoother than today. Thats the thing with dance- you have no choice but to be exactly where you are at. And it feels good to be home. Home in my own body. Home in my own space- still building toward the future.

xo
-=ali*

Bat Signal

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Adventures taken on like fresh breaths of air I near completion of our west coast circuit. Slowly crawling across the sky like the fog of San Francisco rolling over the hills- I will creep into NYC in the middle of the night. Silently tip toeing over summer who has just laid down to rest.

Time will be necessary to flip my sleep schedule but I look forward to those first quiet productive nights prior to reintegrating to my favorite hometown.

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Rested and inspired I return home. Secrets whispered to me from the grandmother energy of the tall tall trees to the great blue depths of lake Tahoe fill my psyche. Biking across pearlescent desert dreamscapes cloud my periphery, breathtaking turn after breathtaking turn of making our way down the 1 collecting moonstones straight from the ocean fill my daydreams, floating in the meditation pool in Sierraville’s hot springs watching shooting stars paint the sky. Reality takes on such vivid flight it’s almost hard to believe that these moments of grandeur and natures majesty are blossoming all around us in real time.

So many old friends surfaced I barely had time to realize I was only visiting. Super outpouring of love to all of those that made my trip extra special out on the west coast! From canyon view outdoor dance parties to sunset ocean-front weddings to fresh seared tuna in the middle of the Black Rock Desert- every moment of the past month has been a dream come true.

Thank you world for all the magick you weave in each direction and the infinite joy in which it brings.
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All that you “saw”

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Wow. It was a brillantly beautiful day at FIGMENT out on Governer’s Island today (www.figmentproject.org). A magickal lil faerie land tucked away in the middle of the east river.

I had my first public debut of playing the musical saw at our friends GypsyTransTemporal interdimensional time traveling gypsy camp! (http://www.facebook.com/GypsyTransTemporalis) I played with friends  Kai Altair Joe Peppitone, Renata Bergan, Matt Talmalage, Helen, and Matt and Pinkie from Not Waving but Drowning. It was an excellent throw down of great proportions.

I wasnt playing for more than 15 minutes when I saw a special face emerge across the lawn. It looked like the amazing saw player I had been mesmerized by so many times before in the Union Square subway station, Natalia, aka The Saw Lady.  As she came closer I could see an image of a woman playing the saw on her t-shirt. . . it was totally her. Almost as if summoned by the tones of the saw alone she appeared at our project. She came over and was so encouraging and so sweet and invited me to come and perform in the NY Saw Festival!!! It was very serendipitous to have encountered her at this moment. Her website was so very helpful when I was researching what type of saw I really wanted. And she weaves magick with every note of her saw.  It was such an honor to play for her!!

In general beginning to play saw has been such a good learning experience for me. It is transportive, underwater, other worldly, meditative, and energizing. I can feel the bending of the vibrations through my whole being as they bounce up and down the blade.I luxeriate in finding new spots on it that create whole other worlds of sound. The saw is taking me down a really fun and new path.

I also want to take a moment and thank Pixie at Pixie Vision Productions who captured and edited this super magickal image of me and my new found friend. Thanks Pixie!!

Okay Lovelies- time for me to work on some more lullabys.

Goodnight*

-=ali*