Participants at the Bali Spirit Festival

Participants at the Bali Spirit Festival

I waited outside the Kafe Restaurant with a small group of people for the shuttle to the Bali Spirit Festival ground. One of those waiting was a quiet dark man wearing a bowler hat and bright Afro ethnic clothing. I asked him if he was going to the Holistic Hip Hop class. He smiled, nodded affirmatively, and said nothing.

We arrived at the festival and as it turns out, the man was Akim Funk Buddha himself,

Akim Funk Buddha

Akim Funk Buddha

Holistic Hip Hop

Holistic Hip Hop

a New York based performance artist and educator, who has performed at venues like Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Blue Note and was the instructor of the holistic hip hop workshop.

Akim Funk Buddha – gotta love that name.

Princess Lockeraroo, Akim’s DJ, spun James Browns’ “Talkin’ Loud and Sayin’ Nothing” and Akim was off, miming moves and motioning the students to imitate him. Soon, the lawn pavilion was filled with grooving hip hoppers of all ages – small children to senior citizens and all types- from hippies to suits from all over the world.

Hip Hop students (that's festival founder Megan on the left)

Hip Hop students (that's festival founder Megan on the left)

Any self-consciousness anyone may have felt initially, was quickly shelved as they learned moves like popping and waving. I’m pretty sure that there were more laughs logged per minute at the hip hop workshop than at the Laughter Yoga class.

Simultaneously, there was Kathak Dancing, Hatha Yoga, Prana Flow Yoga, Mark Whitwell’s “Practical Secrets of Intimacy & Love” yoga , a drumming and chanting circle, a Javanese Movement meditation, a Sacred Middle Eastern Traditions Music workshop, and a fire dancing class.

I found myself at the tarot card booth at the Dharma fair whereupon I learned that there are to be more challenges in my near future. OK, so bring it on (so I can get it over with). Everything happens fast here.

The headliner of the evening was Ganga Giri, a Didjeridu player from Australia who was joined by musicians from around the globe to pump out high-octave fusion.

Ganga Giri and friends at the Bali Spirit Festival

Ganga Giri and friends at the Bali Spirit Festival

The crowd pumped, jumped, leaped, and swayed for the next 3 hours. And when the lights went down, they moved to the Flava Lounge in Ubud, to continue to into the wee hours.

Suddenly it doesn’t matter that I missed the gypsy music festival in Istanbul this year. Because world music has come to Bali.

Bloggin’ from Bali
Robin Sparks
www.robinsparks.com

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