Tales from Auroville!

 Water Ceremony in Auroville, India. Part of the 50th year anniversary. 

Water Ceremony in Auroville, India. Part of the 50th year anniversary. 

Probably the most exquisite ceremony I’ve ever attended. As the 300 children descended the spiral walkway in pairs, one with a container of water from origins as disparate as they Nile, the Mediterranean, or the Hudson river, and the child following with a droplet shaped sign naming the source. The children- multinational themselves, then after having poured the multisourced water into a single unifying pool, placed their signs around the edge of the Amphitheater. All to deeply inspiring music and poetry.
— Words from Bill Vanaver, 3/3/18
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Eleven days into our India visit this year and so much has transpired. We feel blessed to have been I invited here for Auroville’s 50th birthday and the celebrations have been so moving. Connecting with the wonderful people with whom we have launched ongoing projects in a continuous building of community here in Auroville. Yesterday morning we sang This Little Light of Mine and introduced Tom Chapin’s song, “Walk the World” with all of the Aikiyam School children and Shankar, their wonderful principal. To help celebrate bringing together the many communities here in Auroville, Bill, Gabe and I were scheduled to do a concert at the Unity Pavillion. It was very relaxed and so much fun to perform as the Vanaver Family. Having Gabriel here (aka Gah-be) added a whole new dimension to our traditional folk presentation. Gabe offered two of his poignant, original songs and then got everyone up “urban folk dancing” in a cypher .....the house dancing style! Aurovillians, young and old, danced in a circle with tremendous energy. We also included Gladys Bailin’s brilliant Newspaper Dance on the program. There had been “Trashion Show” here last week with designer recycled items. I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be fun to do the Newspaper Dance here?” When I realized that we knew Jill Navarre, a wonderful theatre director here in Auroville and had already worked with her actors in years past, she quickly assembled several enthusiastic people to join Gabe and myself and the three Khoji’s who came down from Udaipur to intern with us from Swaraj University. We had several rehearsals and then true to form this structured improv held the 9 of us in a fun rendition of Gladys’ timeless piece. So grateful to Devasmita for organizing this opportunity and to Julian Lines and Matagiri for helping to bring us here to Auroville.
— Words from Livia Vanaver, 3/3/18.
 Teacher, Usha, working with the students at Akiyam School. 

Teacher, Usha, working with the students at Akiyam School. 

 Gabe, Livia, and Auroville friends, performing "The Newspaper Dance" at the Unity Pavillion. 

Gabe, Livia, and Auroville friends, performing "The Newspaper Dance" at the Unity Pavillion.