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Sunday, February 1, 2009


If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area please join for this very special, unique, and wonderful night of surprises--from traditional Bulgarian bee rituals, a fascinating talk by Marguerite Rigoglioso PhD on "The Bee and its Relationship to the Goddess and the Graeco-Roman Priestesshoods", a trailer of the new film "Return of the Honeybee", to Bulgarian circle dance with live music provided by artists and musicians Karina Guggenheim, Jana Mariposa, and the Melissae Ensemble of singers. Here follows a little about our musical presenters.

Jana (Jana Mariposa) and Karina (Karen Guggenheim) met in a Balkan dance line 35 years ago. There was an instant, yet unspoken, recognition between them of the transformative power of this ancient music and dance. Thus began their inquiry into the cultures from which this music came.The intricacies and complexities of the rhythms and dance steps captured their creative spirits and led them deeper still into their studies of the Balkan cultures. Bulgarian culture soon became their primary focus. Through a series of dreams, the two Sin Twisters understood that they were being called upon to play two of the most ancient ritual instruments known historically. Gaida (bagpipe), which Karina plays and tupan (2-headed drum), which Jana plays were traditionally played only by men.
In order to grasp the multi-dimensional aspects of this music and culture, they found it essential to travel to Bulgaria and live among the people and upon the land from which this music emanated. In 1983, Karina bought a one-way ticket to Bulgaria and lived there for 18 months. She graduated from the choreography school in Plovdiv and also studied with the local gaida masters. Jana came over for several months and studied alongside her.
Since that time, Jana and Karina have conducted workshops in California, the northwest, the mid-west, and at various west coast camps including Balkan Music and Dance Camp, Lark in the Morning Camp, Sweet's Mill Art Institute, and at the conference centers of IONS and the Ecological Farming Conference and New College of California in Santa Rosa.
In 2003, Jana bought a one-way ticket to Greece and lived on Naxos Island for 13 months, where she gratefully participated in ongoing cultural festivals and rituals, performed with her friend Souzana at local events, and studied dance at the Dora Stratou Theater in Athens. She returned to Greece in 2007 for a 6-week stay, which included participation in the Pagan Apokries/Carnival rituals in Northern Macedonia.
In 2005, The Institute of Archeomythology invited Jana and Karina to be the guest musicians for a 2-week tour of village rituals in Bulgaria. The tour included visits to Goddess worshiping archaeological sites and museum exhibitions featuring artifacts from these sacred sites.

The Bulgarians were deeply honored by Jana and Karina’s devotion to their culture and by their passion for keeping the old ways alive . It was certainly a mutual honoring.
The ancient wisdom encoded in the rituals, festivals, music, and dance is very relevant to our current times and challenges. The communal joy that is generated from these activities is necessary for the health of the community, and is conspicuously absent from much of western culture. Encoded in traditional dance is a sense of belonging that is an essential human need and desire.
Through their re-creation of traditional rituals throughout the calendar year, Jana and Karina aspire to reawaken a connection to and reverence for nature, natural cycles, and the World Family.


Uri said...

Is there going to be an "Evening" in 2011? If so, when and where?!

Thank you.

"Bee" Urania said...

Hi Uri, since I am not very tech savy, I just saw your comment for the first time tonight : )
I don't think we will be doing another Sacred Evening any time soon (alas!). It took a tremendous effort, was wonderful, but we are all struggling in our own ways at the moment, and it would be difficult to pull this off right now. However, the good news is, that since our first "Evening..." there has been a tremendous upsurge of interest in the bees, and in Marin County, a huge increase in people who are keeping bees. I don't take credit for that, of course, but I do think that we contributed in our own way in informing people and raising people's spirits and consciousness about the bees. Thank you so much for your interest! blessings, Urania