In the early days of humanity, the two solstices were celebrated with the fervor that now accompanies modern holidays like Christmas and the Fourth of July. The solstices were seen as times of renewal, times of change, when the world passed from one season to another and everyone could start fresh. Solstice celebrations were a way to remember the months before while looking ahead to a new season. At the Indianapolis Museum of Art in downtown Indianapolis, the staff is bringing back the age old tradition of dancing barefoot in the grass during the solstice with their huge 2011 Summer Solstice party, taking place all day this Saturday, June 18, 2011. But this isn’t just any summer solstice: this is also the one year anniversary of the sweeping sculpture garden known as the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park and its host of unique outdoor public art. As such, the Indianapolis Museum of Art will be ringing in the Summer Solstice with Indianapolis music, freeze tag (the modern equivalent of dancing barefoot in the grass), tours, and more, all located at 100 Acres in the Fairbanks Art and Nature Park.
The Summer Solstice party begins bright and early with some refreshing yoga. At 6:30, bring your own mat to the Park of the Laments and join Heidi Fledderjohn in vinyasas and poses that will align your heart, soul, and body and prepare you for a day of fun at the Fairbanks Art and Nature Park. Fledderjohn has been doing dance therapy since 1990; she is a certified Anusara Teacher, holds a master’s degree in Dance/Movement Therapy, is a professional massage artist (with training from the International School of Professional Bodywork), and is the author of Annotated Bibliography of Dance Movement Therapy, which is used as a resource tool for other Dance/Movement therapists. Yoga is a relaxing way to promote Indianapolis health, and it should limber you up enough for a fun day of Solstice celebrating.
Things really kick off in earnest at 100 Acres at 10:00, when Indianapolis people will gather for a huge game of freeze tag in the meadow near the Funky Bones display. The meadow is a big open field that, combined with the intricate hiding spots of Funky Bones, should make for a great game of tag, which will only get better when more and more people show up. If you miss the 10:00 a.m. game of freeze tag, there will be another opportunity to dash around the meadow, freezing enemies and freeing friends, at 4:00 p.m., when the taggers will again return to the fields by Funky Bones.
The Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Summer Solstice party also has something to offer for Indianapolis music lovers. At two times throughout the day, participants are invited to bring their own djembe, conga, bongo, steel drum, or whatever other percussive device they want to Align to participate in a public drumming circle. Like freeze tag, the drumming circle is only as good as the number of people that show up: the more hands pounding out the beat(s), the better. The two drum circles will both be led by Steven Angel, the president and founder of the Drumming For Your Life Institute, a Santa Monica based non-profit organization. A child prodigy, Angel played his first performance at the age of 6 with Buddy Rich’s band, and he went on to play with Jimi Hendrix, Herman’s Hermits, and the Animals. Though he left the stage at around 20, his passion for drumming was re-ignited in his 40’s, when he began the Life Skills Drumming Program to teach at risk youth the tools of self-empowerment. Nowadays, Angel merges psychology and music into therapeutic drumming programs that have helped countless lives. You can participate in Steven Angel’s drumming circle at 11:30 or at 2:30; both Indianapolis events last about an hour and a half.
|Video of Steven Angel discussing the benefits of Drumming For Your Life; Steven Angel will be leading a drum circle at the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Summer Solstice celebration|
Though the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Summer Solstice festival officially ends in the park with freeze tag at 4:00, fans of Indianapolis theater and performance art should stick around the Indianapolis museum until 7:00, when the Aphasia Dance Company will be performing in The Toby Theater. The dance company, based in Belgium, will be making its United States debut at the IMA on Saturday. The company was originally formed in London by an Indy native, Ted Stoffer, in 1997, and it has since adapted to the worldwide stage. A “visual performance employing the power of surrealistic images, subtle magic, and the concept of metamorphosis,” the Aphasia Dance Company takes the concept of the solstice to a whole new level. The group uses body and props in unusual ways to “confront paradoxes of human nature.”
The Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Summer Solstice celebration promises to be a fun renewal of your body, mind, and spirit. Align your body with yoga bright and early before letting loose in a no-holds-barred game of freeze tag. Tour the grounds of the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park at two times during the day, once at 11 and again at 1:00 p.m. Become one with the rhythm at one of two drum circles with Steven Angel. And for a touch of surreal Indianapolis art, finish the night off with a performance by the Aphasia Dance Company at the Toby Theater. The Summer Solstice is an absolutely free event (except for Aphasia, which is $12 for non-members and $9 for members) that will be running all day on Saturday, June 18, 2011, so you can either attend a single event or take the whole day to rejuvenate your senses and escape from the everyday world of Central Indiana.
Summer Solstice at the IMA
Saturday, June 18, 2011 from 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Aphasia Dance Company: Recontres Des Imbeciles (Under Erasure)
Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets: $12/non-members, $9/members