Lace Mill resident-artists host 8th Annual Bon-Odori Dance Festival For Peace, August 4

Bon Odori dancers, Japan Festival for Peace, AUgust 4, 2018The 8th Annual Bon-Odori Dance Festival For Peace takes place at Kingston Point Beach on Saturday, August 4 from noon to 8 p.m. at Kingston Point Beach. This Japanese festival tradition observes “Obon” from August 13-15, the Buddhist ritual of remembering and reconnecting with ancestors and family. Around that time, community members throughout Japan get together to celebrate “Obon” by dancing “Bon-Odori” together.

Youko Yamamoto, former owner of the authentic Japanese noodle restaurant, Gomen-Kudasai Noodle Escape in New Paltz and proprietor of soon to open Ramen Noodle shop in Kingston, started this traditional summer event in the Hudson Valley after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami resulted in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant meltdown on March 11, 2011. She believes that similar disasters can happen anywhere, any day, and that nuclear energy is the most destructive creation in human history and that today radiation is the greatest threat to our daily lives. After the Fukushima meltdown, Yamamoto decided to start raising awareness of the dangers of radiation. Her unique idea was to popularize the peace movement as an entertaining dance event to make it easier to learn about the kind of harm that radiation can cause, why nuclear bombs should be banned, and what we can do to take a step toward a Nuclear-Free-Future.

Livia and Bill Vanaver, directors of the Vanaver Caravan Dance Company, believe that by dancing together we can provide communities with an opportunity and the energy to unite and set a life goal to build a peaceful future for generations to come. Yamamoto and the Vanavers encourage people to learn about alternative energies, moderate energy consumption, green lifestyles and different cultures as the first step towards this universal goal. A “Let’s talk” discussion table focuses on “Waste” along with community engagement in dance.

Bon-Odori Dance Festival For Peace  is a full day of family fun, including great food, amazing bands and world dancers, local vendors/exhibitors, and learning Japanese culture and history. All will enjoy the “Bon-Odori” dance at 6:30 PM. The Minbuza Japanese Folk Dance Company from NYC and Stuart Paton, Taiko drummer from Burlington Taiko, will lead the dance. A Jodoshinshu Buddhist monk, Kenjitsu Nakagaki, will conduct a special ritual to pray for the victims of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as the victims of the Fukushima disaster, to complete the event.

INTERESTED IN BECOMING A VENDOR OR SPONSOR? Any earth-conscious vendors and sponsors are all invited! Ask for your registration form by e-mailing Youko at [email protected]For updates, visit their Facebook Page, BonOdoriKingston

O+ Festival Wellness Offerings at The Kirkland October 6-8

“By exchanging the art of medicine for the medicine of art, O+ empowers communities to take control of their collective well-being.” O+ Festival

We’re honored to be a part of O+ Festival again, the eighth year running since O+ hatched this bright idea in 2010. We’re opening the doors to the community and our first-floor Senate Room at The Kirkland, 2 Main Street, Kingston for the weekend’s wellness offerings. Be it yoga or sound baths, meditation or DFX, you’ll want to trade in your sweat bands for an O+ Festivall all-access wristband to experience the mind-body-spirit encounters this weekend, October 6 through 8. For the complete O+ schedule, click here.

Friday, October 6 
7-9p Gentle yoga + sound meditation with Shawn and Susan DeRyder

Saturday, October 7
7-8a Wake Up Yoga with Linda Lalita Winnick
8:30-9:30a Qigong Smile Class with Chris Brandon Whitaker
10-11a Vinyasa Flow with Deb Seche
11:30a-12:30p Finding Balance in a Chaotic World with Christine Agro
1-2p Pure Yang Longevity (Qi Gong) with Charlotte Gibbons
2:30-3:30p Guided Meditation with Shawn Harrison
4-5p The Art of Money with Joanne Leffeld aka Moolah Doula
5:30-6:30p Gentle Yoga and Sacred Napping with Patrice Heber
7-8p Voice Bath with Sarah Perrotta
8:30-10p Kirtan with Radharani Renee Finkelstein

Sunday, October 8
8:30-9:30a DXF (Dance Xross Fitness) with Stacey Nodelman
10-11a Gentle Yoga with Micah
11:30a-12:30p Complete Core Care with Cory Nakasue
1-2p Vintage Jazz Dance with Uptown Swing! with Emily Vail
2:30-3:30p Fusion Dance Technique with Anna Mayta
4-5p Sound Bath with Jessica Caplan
5:30-6:30p Yoga Nidra with Jean L. Wolfersteig

Lace Mill Couple Host Dance Festival Fundraiser on July 23

Bon Dori Dance Festival 2016Youko and Kazuma Yamamoto work together to raise awareness of nuclear energy issues that will ultimately impact the livelihood of future generations. They are hosting a festival, the Bon-Odori Dance Festival for Peace, at Kingston Point Beach on August 6th, 2017 from 1-7pm, (dance at 6:30pm) and they welcome everyone to come and have fun while raising funds for an important cause. What better way to shake off unnecessary usage and preoccupation of nuclear energy than to create good vibes through dancing?

Back to the grim: statistics reveal that over 75,000 people in Nagasaki, and 150,000 in Hiroshima have been killed since the nuclear bombings of each city. And these numbers likely don’t accurately measure the true number of lives taken; many Japanese have the concept of shame attached to physical or mental disabilities, and so they don’t report theirs or their children’s issues in analytical studies.

With nearly 450 reactors worldwide, mostly located along water and even more being constructed in America and China, Youko and Kazuma are concerned that we are cornering ourselves in potentially dangerous conditions, especially if our nuclear energy usage only increases.

Most recently, a nuclear meltdown disaster resulting from a tsunami and earthquake in Fukushima shocked residents and worldwide onlookers, enforcing the anxiety that nuclear energy is valid. Though Youko and Kazuma were involved in anti-nuclear campaigns before, disaster Fukushima sparked a renewed interest in advocacy and led them to ways in which to promote peace and environmental justice.

Youko & Kazuma Yamamato, resident-artists at The Lace MillWhile Youko was at the family restaurant, Gomen-Kudasi located in New Paltz, NY, Livia and Billy of the Vanaver Caravan dance company asked her, “”Youko, do you know ‘Tanko-bushi’?” from the traditional Japanese coal-mining song. While singing, an idea for a dance festival came to mind. “Why not do something locally?” Later tying the idea of her routine spiritual ritual of chanting Buddhism suturas with the impromptu vocal performance, Youko states, “chanting heart sutura is a good practice, but it isn’t so popular, especially among young people. I thought if I transform it as a fun dance festival, it could invite a lot more people to join us to think about those who suffered in the radiation disasters, such as Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Fukushima, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and a lot more.” She figured a dance event would bring people together to participate and learn effectively, since there is more power in numbers than there is in individuals trying to make changes.

Youko states that when dancing together, “the best part is, even though it is a Japanese folk dance, it’s simple! Our feelings, heart, and spirit unite and our ancestors are with us… we all feel it together.”

A pre-event fundraiser for Bon-Odori Dance Festival for Peace will be held on July 23rd at Lace Mill, 165 Cornell Street, from 2-5pm. Preparing for both the fundraiser and the festival is no easy feat. Youko says costs determine what activities and supplies will be undertaken or purchased. “All the money raised will be used to host the event: insurance, fees to the professional helpers and performers, equipment rental (one large tent cost $2,500!), legal fees, printing all promo material including registration packets, cards, posters, programs, banners, road signs. We usually need more than $5,000 total.” Youko hopes to raise $1,500 at the Lace Mill Fundraiser.

What’s the big draw to the June 23rd Lace Mill fundraiser? The food! Youko, a restauranteur, will “prepare amazing, high quality food with my own recipes.” A plethora of Japanese cuisine and the preparation to make the foods will reflect old traditional practices—down to the ice, which will be hand-shaved and put in drinks, including cold brew tea. Cuban jazz music from the 30’s and 40’s will fill the atmosphere with a different flux of energy to add to the cultural celebration.

Bon Dori Dance Festival for Peace, August 6, 2017All are welcome to attend the Lace Mill fundraiser, which will only mark the beginning of a communal resistance effort. The ultimate goal of the fundraiser, festival and subsequent advocacy efforts is, according to Youko and Kazuma, “to see a nuclear free future.” Besides eating delicious food and getting your groove on, the Yamamoto’s suggest taking action as individuals to reduce our carbon footprint and care for the Earth in a more intentional way. The other approach is to lobby against the building of nuclear power plants, since only a small number make large profits from the construction and distribution of nuclear energy, and the losses incurred from pollution and radioactivity emission risk are outsizing the gains. The Yamamoto’s carry on Pete Seeger’s message of having a peaceful world, eventually creating a movement that advances human relationships to each other and to the Earth in a determinedly holistic approach.

Make a donation online here; all contributions benefit the dance festival and the creation of a safe and enjoyable community event.

For more information about the Bon-Odori Dance Festival for Peace, visit BonOdoriKingston on Facebook, and be sure to like, comment, or share the page with your friends!

Contact Sakura Kojima at (845) 255-8811, or email [email protected] for further details.