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World City -- An Escape to an Urban Oasis with Music, Dance, and Art

By Susana Benavidez
Published: Tuesday, October 06, 2009, at 02:01PM
World City Susana Benavidez

This Saturday I woke up early and rushed to make breakfast, go for a run and get the girls ready for another treat at the W.M. Keck Foundation Children's Amphitheater at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

World City -- a free event for families with an international roster of performers and artists -- is the type of event you wake up early for and do all you can to attend.

We went to see The Mystical Arts of Tibet (Music & Dance, Tibet), and it was a profoundly gripping experience. The Multiphonic Singers of Drepung Loseling Monastery have toured the world, been featured in the Golden Globe nominated soundtrack for "Seven Years in Tibet," and are endorsed by the Dalai Lama as peace promoters. Thanks to this program, we had the fortunate opportunity to sit less than 10 feet away from them and be mesmerized by their performance.

The program started strong with “Nyensen: Invocation of the Forces of Goodness.” I wish I had a recording of it, because I have never heard or felt such deep vibrating sounds come from a human being. As they chanted, a look of peace and deep state of meditation settled on their faces that brought the murmur and fidgeting in the crowd to a halt. A powerful force came from their bodies and poured out through their mouth like a dragon being released from its cave.

There is no describing this hauntingly beautiful sound that remained suspended in the air long after the performers stepped off the stage. Young children were captivated and others frightened by this seemingly inhuman sound, but the atmosphere hung heavy with awakened experience. Each performance got better and engaged you deeper into the sphere of peace, culminating with the giggle-inducing “puppy” that came dancing onto the stage. The children perked up; clapped along and reached out to touch the endearing peace-loving furry animal (the monks in costume- see pictures).

During every break in the performances I would scan the audience and was pleasantly surprised to see such a wide array of ethnic backgrounds. It’s lovely to see that this special gem of an event is being advertised throughout the city- as I observed from the different melodies of languages floating in the air.

After the show ended the kids had even more delightful treats awaiting them from the World City volunteers. Tables with arts and crafts were set up and waiting for the little ones to have their turn in creative expression.

With the daily grind of responsibilities, stresses, and busy schedules that comes along with living in a city you might forget that there are wonderful experiences just waiting for you to show up. I work full time, write, manage the downtown parent group activities, and am devoted 100% to my family, but I make the effort to escape to these events because they give me a dose of sunshine and a window to another world that I may never otherwise be exposed to. How can I not want to share that with my children and friends?

Info: Tickets are distributed at 10am for the 11am performance, 11am for the 12:30pm performance. Arts and Crafts offered at the Blue Ribbon Garden beginning at noon.

Next Event: World City - Barynya on November 14th, 2009

Recommendations: For parents of young children I encourage you to partner up with another parent (I recommend two families maximum) and have them pick up everyone’s tickets for the 11am or 12:30pm performance and hold a place in line so you won’t have to deal with waiting for an hour before the performance and risk having the little one become fidgety or sleepy. Remember this is an outdoor venue, so be sure to apply sun block and wear a hat. Bring water and light snacks for kids.

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Topic:
Kid-Friendly Downtown

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