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Mission and Goals

Guiding Practices


Peace Event



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Paul Hillman

Winter Solstice Celebration 2010
@ Trinity Cathedral, Phoenix

On Tuesday, December 21st a collaboration between Trinity Cathedral (1st Avenue & Roosevelt), the Cultural Arts Coalition and TerraDance®, offered a Planetary Dance® to the community beginning @ 7:00 PM. This is a process and strategy that builds upon the diversity of the human condition to unite people through purposeful movement to the rhythm of the drums. The origins of Planetary Dance® began more than 30 years ago as an effort by dance pioneer, Anna Halprin, to create collaborative, participatory movement experiences.

December 21st was a full moon night, aligning with the winter solstice. During this significant shared time and place we facilitated an opportunity to examine and explore how movement, accompanied by drums and symbolizing the heart rhythm, becomes a unifying agent to catalyze interaction, communication and awareness of the interrelationship that people have with each other and their world.

The Advent Service of Darkness and Light had been available before the Winter Solstice Celebration in the courtyard. Archdeacon Veronica Ritson led the way for the parishioners to join those in the circle (outlined by the Trinity Cathedral courtyard labyrinth) to the drum beat initiated by Annie Loyd.

It was a night of soft rain and cool breeze blowing through this urban site, as we entered, summoned by the combined pulsing of drums by Vito Vissicaro and Keith Johnson. Pegge Vissicaro explained the process of entering the “circle” defined within the labryinth and setting a personal intention for an "act of thoughtful peace building in our community or a moment of remembrance for a loved one; for those who are suffering or thanksgiving for all we have."

The Blessings were given by Archdeacon Ritson: "May we find Hope in the lights we have kindled on this sacred night, hope in one another and in all who form the web-work of peace and justice that spans the world..." By Edward Hays from Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim.

The Planetary Dance is an interactive process that puts each of us at the center of the activity through ritual movement and drumming for approximately 30-45 minutes. People of all abilities, ages, and backgrounds were welcomed. This free, public celebration promotes inspiration, healing, renewal, and empowerment to manifest positive social change. Some persons attended who just wanted to learn more about "What was Happening!"

"It took about 6-7 minutes before the last 'intention' was spoken, then there was a building of 'tension' as the people encircled each other and the drummers. I noticed this dynamic tension at least twice and was very pulled into what felt like a brief moment of total abandonment. It was fleeting, like a whirlwind. Enveloped by the density of sound and movement, being in this 'place' was a total kinesthetic experience, which defied intellect and emotions." Pegge Vissicaro

Ember: "This was fun, an experience I’ve never had before that opened my thoughts to something new."

Patricia Federico: "This was different for me as well. I felt the energy – not right away, not until I figured out [my place in the movement]. Then it was great!"

Pegge concluded the dance/movement~earth run by instructing us to take a deep cleansing breath in and release it up to the heavens with uplifted arms as we simultaneously sent our intentions to higher spaces.

A shared candle light moment of reflection concluded the Planetary Dance® May we who have celebrated this winter solstice together, call forth from one another the light and love that resides in each of our hearts. Spoken by Deacon Ritson

Persons then slowly moved inside to the Gallery area of the cathedral to enjoy the company of one another, the artworks and refreshments provided by Fair Trade Cafe.

We would like to thank Roberta Hancock, Arts Coordinator at the Cathedral, for being the emissary for this event. We also would like to extend our gratitude to those who participated in the evenings’ program for being so supportive of this means to bring persons together to engage in conversation and community building through integrated artistic expression.

Corinne Geertsen ( My pictures are quirky visual narratives about psychological predicaments. They pull a lot of subconscious strings.

Additional comments on the evening program: "What a dull life I lead. I am steeped in pragmatism and forget to stop and smell the roses. I am ever amazed that people feel so free to express themselves as they did at the celebration. I was unable to loudly proclaim my intentions.....this was not my sphere of comfort, but I am willing to try." Kay Jarrell ASU College of Nursing & Health Innovation

"All people have the capacity to dance and make dance, which may take place anywhere and everywhere." Pegge speaking to a dancer from Los Angeles.

"It was a time of healing for Silvia and myself when the Dream Act did not pass on Saturday"

In the heart of every person on this earth

burns the spark of luminous goodness;

in no heart is there total darkness. Edward Hays

May Peace Prevail Upon the Earth for All...

We would like to thank Paul Hillman for taking these photos to document our evening event and Vito Vissicaro, Keith Johnson and Annie Loyd providing the focus and calming presence inspiring us to "Dance for Joy and Peace!"

Review Narrative by judy butzine

Cultural Arts Coalition