Follow by Email

Friday, December 12, 2014

Beacon Bits -- A Tale of Two Cities

Last weekend, I attended Yanerella's School of Dance's 56th annual dance recital in the Pete and Toshi Seeger's auditorium at Beacon High School on a Friday night. And on Saturday night, I braved the soaking rainstorm to head to the riverfront to Scenic Hudson's River Center at Long Dock Park to support the annual benefit auction for Common Ground Farm. Two nights and less than three miles apart, but the distinction between the events was quite palpable. Yet I found myself feeling 'at home' in both settings with both groups of unique Beaconites.
Friday's dance recital was marked by frenetic energy. The queue of attendees arrived almost two hours prior to the delayed start time, chatting and greeting friends and families -- aunts, sisters, fathers, cousins, neighbors.  Everything was abuzz as seats were located and the dances began. Dancers of all ages assembling backstage, sometimes accompanied by a dance mom, to change costumes for the next dance routine to be presented on stage: 25 in all -- "Dancing around the world" to Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride, Calabria, Arabian Nights, Back in the USSR, Invictus, Bollywood Dreams. And in between each dance, a flurry of activity for the entourage moving back and forth from the auditorium to the dressing rooms. Cheers and support were constant for all the efforts, talents and hours of practice each dancer brought to the stage. Tears streaming down the faces of grandmothers who watched their grand-daughters tap--flap, shuffle, heel, ball change--the third generation to still be dancing at the studio! Some moms were now sitting throughout the entire show because their daughters were old enough to switch out costumes and get back on stage without their supervision. Tulle, satin, sequins and glam. Photos of the current teachers in the catalog taken when they were 20-30 years younger, in their favorite costumes for one of their own recitals. Beacon's long-term residents--multicultural and multi-generational. Non-stop motion. Organized and planned, but with just enough chaos and crisis to make it exciting. A new dancer confused about the recital routine only brought one of her two costumes thinking one of her dances was scheduled for Friday night and one for Saturday afternoon. Her mom rushing home at intermission and sending her brother back in post haste with only minutes to spare for her to run as fast as she could to quickly slip it on so she could appear on stage, nonplussed, yet heart racing, in the center of her dance troop. Three hours long and just enough time for everyone to rest before it would start all over again the next day, this time, with the youngest dancers being able to stay throughout the entire show.

Saturday night's auction was clam and candlelit with music by the trio Tall Country bringing that 'down home' feeling to an otherwise elegant setting. Well presented items displayed for the silent auction set up in the loft and aptly described thoroughly in the catalog.  More items, with their tongue-in-cheek descriptions -- Let's Get It On, Pump Up the Jam, Bite Off More Than You Can Chew, Light Up Your Life, Be the Bagel. neatly waiting downstairs for the one and only Mark Roland as auctioneer. Gift certificates for dinners and gifts, hand blown glass, baskets of organic-gourmet edibles, glamping in the Adirondacks, kayak storage at Long Dock, planted rows of food to be grown and distributed to food pantries silently waiting for the highest bid for the lucky donor who would be supporting the mission of CGF food justice. Sophisticated humor throughout the evening. Beacon's newest residents (10 years or less) everywhere. Professionals, community leaders, movers and shakers. Abundant food donated by Beacon's best. Zero-to-Go for waste collection. Systematic accounting of bids for easy check out. An appreciative and satisfied group of supporters.

Food for thought:  Diversify. Expand your repertoire. Hang out with people who may be different from you or from your usual crowd. Go across your comfort zone. You may just meet your next door neighbor unexpectedly or make a new connection. The future of Beacon's community life will be enriched as we dance together in the fields of green planted for justice.

Looking for some options to mingle? Check out the Mount Beacon Incline Restoration Railway Society (you just missed the annual gala but keep an eye open for a new store front on Main Street focusing on its history and proposed plan to rebuild), the Beacon Sloop Club's monthly potluck meal on the first Friday, and Friends of the Howland Public Library meetings and events. They are all waiting for people like you to join and support their mission while making new friends.

No comments:

Post a Comment