Unification News for November 2002
Culture Presentation at the IIFWP Conference
by David Eaton
At the recent International and Interreligious Federation for World Peace Conference in New York, a unique cultural production was presented at the conference's opening banquet. With the theme of "The Hope of All Ages," a synthesis of music, dance, visuals and spoken word was created to celebrate the hope of world peace as expressed by great saints and sages of bygone eras as well as visionaries of contemporary times.
At the center of this forty minute production were sacred and secular texts of various philosophers, religious leaders and statesmen including those of Socrates, Augustine, Mother Theresa, Dr. Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln and Rev. Sun Myung Moon.
The program opened with music, composed for this occasion by David Eaton and performed by Persian-American singer Laleh, in the style of an incantation and based on ancient Sankrit texts. Narrators Chen Fong, Jodie Tamaso, Laleh, Michael Balcomb and Mzuri then recited texts as music intoned the spirit of peace and harmony. Slides of the various personalities whose texts were being read were projected on a video screen in the center of the Hilton Ballroom Stage.
Choreographer Donna Gianell and fellow dancers Frances Roache and Emily Knat presented a moving piece celebrating the love of a man, woman and child to music which was a variation on the opening incantation. After Michael Balcomb's recitation of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, singer Mzuri offered a brilliant rendition of the inspiring Gospel classic "Still I Rise." The presentation concluded with soprano ___ singing Jean Sibelius' "This Is My Song."
The inspiration of IIFWP Secretary General, Dr. Thomas Walsh, the presentation was co-produced by IIFWP public relations coordinator Nadine Andre and David Eaton, music director of the New York City Symphony.
It is the hope of the IIFWP to develop and refine the concept and present it at future IIFWP events.
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