Backstage Studio Productions (BSP) and Transformation in Action Productions present the final Earth Change Series performance this Saturday, December 17 at 8 p.m., when Aleah Long and En Full Circle take center stage for “The Longest Night Winter Solstice Musical Celebration and Trance Dance.” The Earth Change Series began a year ago when Long was inspired to create an event at each Solstice and Equinox. She believes that the Solstice compels us to “stay inside and explore our own dark interiors, to reflect on the light of our own spirit and set a course for new growth.” Her music serves to facilitate such a passage, as it also moves people to chant and sing and dance along. “The more we align our own energies with the cycles of the planet, the more we will live in balance and harmony. We are empowered physically as well as spiritually.”
“I’ve been following an inner urge with this – not sure where it would lead us, but I felt people could bond with this kind of experience,” Long explains. “What this year has taught me, as each performance just started defining itself, is that people find their space in it. They find a way to use the energy that we all bring out together. It becomes a communal experience and an individual experience of clarity, of energy to make substantial, meaningful changes in their life.”
Yaniyah Pearson, a cultural activist and performing artist with the group, explains how they begin the performance with something clearly ceremonial and move into music and rhythm as a metaphor for the seasonal cycles. She points out that in our area, so many people are connected to farming and gardening, and therefore already relate intimately with the Earth changes. “Our approach is not to do too much talking. We all know about Earth rhythms, and even though people may not focus on the energy of the Solstice and the Equinox, they still experience the change in the rhythm. That’s the platform on which we all stand. We invite people into the communal energy of it: the spontaneous chanting and song. Some people get up and dance. And for people who don’t have a spiritual inclination but want to be entertained, to them it looks like a really great party.”
En Full Circle is a multicultural ensemble of talented musicians from the Hudson Valley including Moose Alexander doing background vocals and harmonica, Avinash Jeff Barnes and Ubaka Hill on percussion, Yaniyah Pearson with background vocals and spoken-word poetry, Jarabe Del Sol of the Readnex Poets with spoken-word poetry, New York City’s Philip Nichols on keyboard and synthesizer, Carole Hodges on drums, Michfest Chix Lix singer Tory Truillo with background vocals and the incomparable Aleah Long as lead vocalist, with Christian Rabin as master of ceremonies.
“The Lounge at BSP holds over 200 people with the intimacy that works for what we do,” says Long. “Our performances hold the intention of deepening our connection with Mother Earth, and we have a most enjoyable time doing it.”
Doors open at 7:30 p.m. in the Lounge at BSP on Wall Street in Kingston. Tickets go for $15 and can be purchased at the door. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (845) 401-5636.