March’s theme was Creativity and tellers were Athol Compton, Simone O’Brien, Suvira McDonald, Oonagh omZUna, Charlie Starret and me, Jenni Cargill-Strong. Each teller got 10 mins. Thanks to our wonderful photographer, Eva. Lots more photo’s on FB here.
Athol Compton is Minyunbul custodian and he gave Welcome and told us of ‘How the Birds got their Colours’.
Long time resident of the shire, Suvira McDonald is a practicing sculptor and potter. He is also a founding member of Creative Mullumbimby who are currently overseeing the Mullum Sculpture Walk. He told how the sculpture walk came to be, how he made the pickup sticks sculpture with help from the community and where it is headed.
Love CLUB founder, host & Floetic MC, Oonagh omZUna, an improvised Poet, Presenter & Performance Activist shared a high energy tale of triumphant public humiliation, land & creativity ~ featuring her self, Daevid Allen (GONG) & Elliet Mackrell (KANGAROO MOON).
Charlie Starrett, an experienced award-winning Toastmaster, told a magical personal story “Whose Life is it anyway?”
I told the Egyptian folktale of ‘The Black Prince’, a romantic folktale which I feel speaks to many themes, including creativity, being authentic, self-love and gender roles. It tells of a young boy who enchanted a princess with his flute playing. Not knowing he already had won her heart, and wanting her to love him, he gives up his flute to exchange his artistic soul for a warrior’s soul and so loses everything.
Simone O’Brien, ex-Creative Director of Spaghetti Circus, did a brilliant job of telling the fantastic, true tale of ‘Con Calleano’, a local Aboriginal man who became the world’s most famous tight wire artist and the inspiration behind social circus project ‘Cirque du Coraki’. You can see many videos of the amazing man and his spectacular tricks on YouTube here.
Kageni and Rumi join me on stage for Shimbaleia.
Shimbalaie chorus: thankyou to eachother.
Our theme song has become Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock”. I had been planning to weave it in February when environmentalist, Jim Tait referred to it in his passionate and emotional tale, I was prompted to start playing a recording before and after stories. I would love to manifest a live guitarist and singer one day to play it for us. (I love this new version as well as Joni’s original: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8x-DoOYJn0M)
We also ended the evening with movement and the song “Shimbalae”. We were taught it in February, by my beloved Biodanza teacher, Jazmin Lj Tassell.* When I asked for some company on stage, Charlie’s partner, Kageni joined me. She told a great story in November and as well as being an award-winning Toastmaster and an engineer, teaches African dance! Simone’s young friend, Rumi also joined us. JOY!! You can see the happiness on the faces of those in the audience too.
Here is the song ‘Shimbalae’ by Brazilian artist Maria Gadu, that we move to at the end. In the chorus, we gesture: Thanks to myself (self-hug) Thanks to the Heavens (arms up towards The Great Above) Thanks to the Earth (arms down to Earth, Great Below), Thanks to each other/ my Community (arms gesture to everyone else) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HH1fpTmU-lw
*Jazmin teaches BioDanza at St Martin’s in Mullum on a Tuesday night, starting at 6.30pm. Your first class is free. See https://www.facebook.com/events/132487504249610/?