Sunday, April 14, 2013


From 11-2 Saturday April 20, artists from The Singing Winds will lead a 3-hour workshop in Alpona drawing at Dome Playground. Alpona chalk drawings are traditional South Asian arabesque patterns that Bangladesh women, working with pigmented rice powder, use to draw on the grounds of their homes. Instead of chalk, however, people at Dome will paint with acrylics on a 50-ft scroll.

The Alpona workshop is the side dish to the main events at PS 230 April 19 and 20, in celebration of the Bangladesh New Year's (Bengali New Year Festival and Parade). At the opening ceremony Friday at 7 pm in the PS 230 auditorium, the Bangladesh Institute of Performing Arts (BIPA), Annie Ferdous, director and choreographer, and friends will showcase dances and music of Bangladesh. The performers will return on Saturday, starting at noon, with 5 new groups performing this time on an outdoor stage.

Then at 2 pm, a 10-ft puppet will lead a parade of the festival's musicians, dancers, drummers, and its kids, teachers, parents, neighbors, and community activists down Dahill Road to Cortelyou where it will turn into Dome Playground --about a 3/4 mile walk away. Stepping off  from PS 230, the procession will be punctuated by people wearing or carrying 100 masks of owls, tigers and humans -- all made by students at PS 230 and 179, working with Jill Reinier, THE SINGING WINDS' director.

After a turn around Dome's central lawn, the procession will wend its way back  to PS 230 for BIPA's grande finale at 3:30 pm. The police will provide a squad-car escort for the parade.