Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lotus World Music Festival

An artist paints and displays his work for sale.
North Star members do their thing.

     Every year, the Lotus Festival comes to town. And, Bloomington with its thriving downtown, full of street art and small shops and restaurants, serves as the perfect background for this world music festival. As the sun went down on the first day of the festival, Bloomington artists and vendors took to the streets. North Star Capoeira Angola performed a great free show in front of the Sample Gates. (In capoeira artist perform a combination of dance and martial arts to music.)
     As darkness fully set, the frenetic energy that is characteristic of Lotus took over downtown. Belly-dancers and fire-dancers drew crowds. Some restaurants and shops stayed open late, and people buzzed around, strolling, eating, seeing the sights, and having a good time.
North Star mestre (master)
Iuri Santos greets the crowd.
     Tents were set up; churches and the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre opened their doors to performers. Of all the paid performers that played in these venues, my favorites were Cimarrón, a Colombian group, and Emeline Michel, a Haitian singer. For more info on the festival and a full list of Lotus acts—who played music traditional to contemporary, Armenian to Ugandan, and everything that is inventive and collaborative between these genres—visit http://lotusfest.org/.

Belly-dancers swirl.

The Lotus logo is projected
on a downtown building.

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