POW WOW and EDWARD GORDON CRAIG CONFERENCE

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The many faces and cultural embraces of Pomona college came about in a big way this weekend…

By Vivian Ponte-Fritz

If you happened to meander by the Walker Beach area of Pomona College’s campus, the many beautiful smells, sights and sounds that drifted about Claremont on that sunny saturday would have manifested themselves before your unsuspecting eyes.

If you made a concsious choice to attend the Pow Wow hosted by the Draper Center and the  community engagement and sustainability center more power to you.

If you were busy with other Saturday duties or were maybe attending the many festivities of the Edward Gordon Craig Conference, also occurring this past weekend, I will fill you in on what you missed out on.

Booths were set up to circumnavigate a wide lawn that hosted many dancing feet. The thumping drums that accompanied the dancing created a deep and driving sound that got into my bones as I walked around and looked at the beautiful jewelry and other wares for sale. The drum groups shown below were both featured among the many groups that played.

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A dancer in the circle

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A young dancer girl taking a break and chompin’ on some fry bread and mashed potatoes.

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A fine, feathered friend

 

The other pretty darn tootin’ amazing cultural and musical event that happened this easter weekend was the Edward Gordon Craig conference that begun on Thursday and ended on Saturday. This event, sponsored by the department of theater and dance, was one that included events for all and events that had to be registered for. It brought all sorts of guests and speakers from around the globe. These included the performers for the Balinese music and puppetry rendition of Hamlet’s last act, directed by Samuel Gold of Los Angeles. The show held everyone’s attention tightly and was pulled off in a very creative and humorous way with dynamic gamelan orchestra, dramatic shakespearian readings and subtly moving shadow puppets called Wayang Kulit (shown below).

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Here is a video I took of the festivities:

The show ended with a solo song of ancient korean meditation and an old korean opera song sung by a performer in a blinding blue wig and black robe. The voice rung out in the audience as the performer moved among us, entrancing us using sounds like rivers, that most of us could not understand, yet felt deeply connected to.

Over all this weekend was an amazing display of all that our community has to offer. It is encouraging to know that there is so much amazing and beautiful and and music out there. More to come soon I am sure.

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