Full moon lights up Topanga sacred festival

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The Cosmic Dream Tribe performed their Moroccan, bohemian, tribal style beats Sunday at the Topanga "Sounds of the Sacred, Songs of the Earth" festival. Austen Tate / TMT

The Topanga event is part of the countywide World Festival of

Sacred Festival,

originated by the

Dalai Lama.

By Austen Tate / Special to The Malibu Times

“The sacred dance of music might just be the right way of communication, a universal language that breaks open the heart.” -Dalai Lama.

Hundreds attended the “Sounds of the Sacred, Songs of the Earth: A Topanga Celebration for World Peace” at the Topanga Community House on a day of blue skies and an evening filled with a full moon, Sunday. It was one of more than 40 events scheduled to take place throughout Los Angeles from Sept. 18 to Oct. 2 as part of the World Festival of Sacred Music, initiated by the Dalai Lama in 1999 to “make a collective commitment to build a new millennium of peace,” world festival director Judy Mitoma wrote in a welcoming statement.

The Topanga sacred festival began with a Native American blessing and prayer that “all nations come together in unity.”

“My heart felt broke open, its all about healing,” said Michele D’Arbanville of the festival.

D’Arbanville is co-founder of the Living Wellness Foundation whose mission is committed to “bringing together the worlds of health and healing, spirituality, creativity and education to support a truly integrative vision for living.”

She and Philip D’Arbanville, producers of “Sounds of the Sacred,” provided a session of “Theatre for the Soul” in one of the healing sounds and poetry tents. During the day, multicultural foods were prepared giving people a taste from different lands and musical treats highlighted the evening concert.

Families gathered on the field near the main stage and children played soccer on the grass, while Annmarie Solo performed “Music of the World Soul.” Next, on the front stage, The Cosmic Dream Tribe with Evan Anjelica performed their Moroccan, bohemian, tribal style beats. Following their act, Marla Leigh gave the audience a little of what she calls “Hip Hop Trip Hop.” Members of The Cosmic Dream Tribe jumped offstage to perform capoeira among the audience.

Face painting, theatre and “Children’s Games & Songs From Across the World,” conducted by Jennifer Jester, educated youth on the principle of the “four directions of life,” a Native American prayer and way of living, according to the four directions-East, South, West and North. Tibetan, Balinese and Middle Eastern dance entertained the crowd. All forms and aspects of music entertained people ranging in all ages and sizes as they freely danced to the beat of passionate music, celebrating the diversity of the world.

The night’s festivities brought in more than 400 people and performers, including terton (revealer of Dharma treasures) Kunzang Rinpoche and the Monks and Nuns of Zangdokpalri and renown Flamenco pianist Pedro Ricardo Miño.

“Flamenco is a union of cultures and they play deeply with their heart,” said Miño, the first performer to bring the Flamenco culture of music into the realm of the piano.

The Hani Nasser Band, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, and John Densmore and his band TribalJazz played later in the evening, keeping the audience on their feet. Tibetan/Chinese singer Yim Yao shared with the audience her ancient song “Rise of the Phoenix,” which symbolizes the mythical bird from the east.

The performers of “Sounds of the Sacred” brought a magical, eclectic sound to Topanga under the bright, full harvest moon.