Monday, September 25, 2006

Pagan Pride Day '06

We had a big time.

I opened the afternoon, telling the stories of Thomas Rhymer and Tom Goat Skin. The first is a story about a Scottish bard who takes the Third Road to Faerie and serves the Faerie Queen for seven years, then returns, misses Faerie and comes back. The second is a strong and witty Irish lad who wins a melancholic Princess' heart by making her laugh three times and overcoming two triple challenges. Between the two stories, I sang the old Irish ballad 'Down By the Salley Gardens', with lyrics written by my adored William B. Yeats. I also dedicated the Goat Skin story to my deceased friend Arthur Netto, who passed on 15th, after trying so hard to recover from anonymous spanking for almost a month. Arthur was a great actor and an inspired writer, and left a huge circle friends, most of them pagans, all artists.

My singing was pretty well. Just before heading off to Páteo do Collegio, where the celebrations would take place, I trained the song with my vocal coach, she tempered and polished my performance and I was convinced I would break everybody's heart with that magnificent, haunting melody. But naturally, being my first time singing in public, I did less than one third of what she told me. That damn old companion of mine, Anxiety. But after the performance everybody told me it was so beautiful. The fact that I sang acappella in a country totally unused to acappella singing didn't produce any negative impact, it seems.

After my performance, Marisa told the story of Eostre (her favourite version), and then there was a dance performance and the drama group performed a play about Ancient Gods waking up from a long sleep and Gaia suffering abuse from Humankind. The dance show was really cool: six female dancers represented a Pagan Goddess each. First was a belly dancer for Hestia, then a Cloak dance for Isis, then three Hindu dancers in a WICKED trio for Durga, Kali and Parvati, followed by a Nipo-Brazilian embodying Amaterasu, entirely gilded, geisha-like make-up and dancing with golden fans. The crown jewel of the performance was my ex-coven sister Shakti performing Inanna and dropping her seven veils to represent the Oldest Known Myth on our stage. I took a very noble part in this show, too: between the individual performances, I collected the veils they dropped and positioned the candles and props for each dancer. Well, I couldn't be the Divo twice the same day; plus somebody had to do the job!

Then came the Ostara ritual. It was already very later afte the long Creative Shower, so Claudiney Prietto (the organizer of the event and High Priest of the Ceremony) kept the ritual quite short. We use an auditorium owned by the municipality, so there was a deadline to return it--clean and tidy again.

After the ritual, in the merry-part thingy, a couple of girls I didn't know approached me and mentioned they loved the two stories. They didn't tell anything about the singing, so I just thanked and shut up. :)

Last night, I went to watch a live opera for the first time. It was an adaptation of Shakespeare's 'the Tempest' by a Brazilian composer. My favourite play by my favourite playwright. Their Caliban was the usual goat and their Ariel was the usual blue bird, which was a bit disappointing. Why can't people create new Calibans and new Ariels? Oh well, but they were great singers (Caliban a baritone and Ariel a mezzo-soprano), and Prospero was a real virtuoso! The ending speech Prospero gives in the play, addressing to the audience, asking for forgiveness, surrendering his Powers and musing about Life became a superb aria. Too bad it was written for baritone voice. I'd love to try singing it and having it in my personal repertoire!

How was everybody else's Pagan Pride Day?