Tuesday, December 22, 2009

IEGP Jan 2010

Jan 6: InterPlayers arrive at Claret Nivas in Bangalore

Jan 7 (10-5 pm): 1. InterPlay for Marginalised Women at Vimochana – Cynthia

Jan 8 (9-5 pm):

1. InterPlay for Formees at Claret Nivas

Jan 9-10: (9-5 pm) 3 Simultaneous Workshops at Claret Nivas

1. InterPlay Tool Kit for Community Cynthia Winton-Henry

2. Sing Your Song, Dance Your Dream - Trish Watts

3. Therapists at Play, Creating Heals (Therapists/Healers/Others) - Cathy Ann

Jan 11-13: Travel to teach

Cynthia at Chennai, Cathy Ann at Pune, Trish at Kerala

Jan 14 Arrive in Mumbai at Jivan Vikas Sadan Retreat center, Bandra

Jan 15 (9-4 pm): InterPlay for Corporates on Effective Team Building (Cynthia)

Jan 15 (9-4 pm): InterPlay for Women from Tribal areas/Slums (Trish)

InterPlay for Differently-Abled (Cathy Ann)

7 pm Concert at Vile Parle: Building Bridges Peace by Peace

Jan 16-17 (9-4 pm): Workshops at Jivan Vikas Sadan

7 pm Concert at Bandra: Building Bridges Peace by Peace

Jan 18-19 (9-5 pm): Workshop for InterPlay Trainees– Cynthia and Cathy Ann

Jan 19 evaluation and departures through Jan 21.

I danced with freedom

The new year is carrying Cynthia Winton-Henry away to InterPlay India with Trish Watts, Alison Lee, Tony Hole, and Trish DeLaney from Australia, CathyAnn Beaty and Diane Christopherson from the US. They'll join new InterPlay leaders in Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, Kerala, and Mumbai as they share InterPlay with NGO and corporate leaders, victims of prostitution, domestic violence, and healing communities in the 3rd annual InterPlay Global Exchange for Peace. Please dance on our behalf as we travel and teach January 6-21.

This slideshow contains images from the 2009 exchange set to "I Danced With Freedom" written by Trish Watts during this journey.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sea of Children-by Trish Watts

Out in the middle of South Gujarat are villages where few vehicles are seen. Mostly people walk bare foot with the cows and chickens, or cycle on pushbikes of yesteryears.
It is a life of simplicity, seasons and tribal wisdom.

This is to be a special evening, one that will remain in my heart and soul forever.

A tribal festival has been called, especially in our honour, to share the indigenous dances, stories and songs of the region.

We’re all excited!

Walking down towards the drumming at twilight, I notice a huge stage erected in the middle of a field. A dozen or so chairs have been placed orderly in front of the stage and we are invited to sit.
Flanked down both sides are bundles of blanketed sareed children, boys on the right girls on the left.
In fact a sea of children, hundreds of them!!! All sitting calmly, quietly, crossed legged on the ground, beaming bright eyed at us.

And where are their parents?

What then unfolded was to be nothing short of spectacular.
Over the next 3 hours we were treated to a world class performance. Athletic dancers rigorously and exuberantly sent tingles up my spine, captivating us.
We, the hungry audience were spellbound, entranced by the flying colours, pounding drums, penetrating vocals, wild flame throwing antics and team building strength.

It was an experience of unforgettable energy and dynamism!

I felt like a blue print of communal life was reawakened in my blood and bones, with my muscles twitching a total YES in response!
Some deep archetypal, indigenous pattern was invoked in my being & it screamed out:
‘Remember this?

Remember this!
Don’t forget to dance!
Don’t forget to sing!
Don’t forget to drum!
Don’t forget to dream!
Never ever forget!!!!
Remember to dance, sing, drum and dream, this IS the way of health for a community!

Stay- close to the earth
close to each other
close to the Source
close to the earth, each other and the Source
Don’t forget who you are and to whom you belong, and play, play, play
Play with abandon!’

Ah…..such a wild, exhilarating night of boundless joy!

What a gift!

© Trish Watts January 2009 Bardi Pada Tribal Festival, India

Friday, February 6, 2009

A note from India

Dear InterPlayers,

My name is Vikrant, I am Dr. Kanan's husband. Yup, the really zany, creative and intelligent doc with a personality to match. ;) She really had a great time in your company the other day. What with shopping in Lokhandwala and eating at High Point

She has asked me to send you some of the photographs of the Interplay workshop in which she participated. I was a spectator but I really had this urge to jump up and join in the fun!!

What is really funny is that I am a reserved person by nature but on stage when I have to do something I just shine. Father Prashant observed that when I had done 2 Interplay workshops with him the last time. He is a great Interplay leader. I missed the big Interplay workshop, but hopefully next year when you come back ( I really hope you do) I will there taking part this time around.

Just wanted to let you know that you guys are doing a great job. Please keep the same up. I am sure you must have noticed that in the villages the people participated with childlike glee while in the cities the people are more uptight. Innocence is lost here, in the villages they really dance like no one's watching!!

Keep in touch and spread the joy like interplay.


Vikrant and Kanan
If a nation loses its storytellers, it loses its childhood. -- Peter Handke

Hand to Hand Contact

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Some words about India from Gary Field

hot flush grotto crowded jeep caste
hindu youth for Jesus stool softener sock tops
kurta labyrinth chai intercultural plantain guru
pure veg scripture espresso pillow peace crane
ankle bracelet gesture choir Obama yoga karma
buffalo cart ruts raga mustard seed mirror neurons
Trishna Trishna mobile sari phone
being stiller leprosy hospital gibberish mudra mantra
bishop radiator cap 12 step dahl
untouchable toilet paper chapati chakra garland
sleeping pill mosquito bindi sacrifice swami
hoopla don't horn palm babbling mende
begging being seen

---Gary Field

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Turquise bucket

Turquise bucket

Altar where she washes
Rubs, soaks, stops, rests.
Turquise bucket
Filled with water and light
How are you holy?
Treelead and sun
Anoint you so.

Old Fort

Old Fort

A green feather to the scholar
Who keeps the record of this place
500 years past the Portugese came.
Creating a history of faith, power, fear.
Standing amidst the ruins we ask
Who put all these stones in place?
“African slaves,” he said,
We shudder again at memories, too close.

Nari-Yad- Woman memory

Nari-Yad- Woman memory

The mende on my hand is fading
Yet still it is manohar- beautiful.

The mende on my hand is fading
Yet still you are mari bahen- My sister.

The mende on my hand is fading
Yet still I see manohar padm- beautiful lotus.

The mende on my hand is fading
Yet still it is sonu-gold in mitarta-friendship.

My hand dances with you, hun ramun chhua, I play,
Your hand in mine even still.

Interreligious Dialogue: Appointed

Interreligious Dialogue: Appointed Religious Men meet Dancing Women.

They were not looking for God in a woman.
Speaking words, assertive instructions
needing to be seen. they couldn’t
take their eyes off themselves
even when saying hello to her.
The eyes of their heart appeared closed
except when a Father surrendered his
stiffened limbs to follow her lead.
Suddenly, he saw her and the girl
with whom he danced.
How strange that as his eyes opened
he too was seen.

Moon sister

Moon sister

Sister. Godsend.
Your bracelet asking
“How important is it?”
You gave it to me.
Because everyday
On two continents
we seek life amid the rubble
and hope of alcoholism.

At Atma Darshan
beneath a tree we met.
Mary of the lotus
witnessing the spilling forth
of two phases of a common moon.
We’ve danced dark valleys of the soul
to meet on the holy ground.

Tamoro Abhar, Thank you Twenty Times

Tamoro Abhar, Thank you
Twenty times

Tamoror Abhar to
Church on the hill, Interreligious group, days in Vasai, Bardepada tribal performance, teachers, museum,
Welcomes at Pimpri, Unai, and Mandal.
Bombay InterPlay three day
Canossian Performance
Dahinar Women and families of the slum
Bangalore Theology Students, AA, Franciscan friars,
Asian spiritual directors, Lynnessa, Francois, Bobby, Clara, Nancy, Anthony, Bala, Francis, Vally, Father Galdos, Sutej, Ajay, Kanaan, Franscian friars,

and especially

Gregory, Margaret, and dear visionary Prashant.

Gujarati words

Gujarati words
Gayak singer
Hun mari ankho vare jaioon chuun I see you with my eyes
Jatra pilgrimage
Shantithis beso: sit quietly
Mussafar traveler
Sakh witness
Ha yes
Mata mother
How beautiful Kevun sunder
Tu Ke chhe How are you?

Brother Francis

Brother Francis

I found you again in India
Near a Great Tree
teaching, listening, deep sigh befriending
Gregriously playing…
Remembering the joy of living

Blessing Cars

Blessing Cars

•Red clay on fenders and engine,
•Incantations of the priest.
•Lemons squished beneath tires
•Cocnut slammed to asphalt
CRACK! Old woman grabs the meat.
•Hanoman child tried to grab some,
laughing as the old woman swats him away.

A green feather

A green feather

A green feather to the Muslim social worker where we are given tea
A green feather to the leader of the Interfaith Dialoge where we presrnt our spontaneous prayers of body and soul, where Jain leaders cannot look on us women, but
Attend anyway.
A green feather to the bishop in his office who laughs with us and humbly receives our song.

Simple Hearts Lead us now,
Joy and love our common power.

A thousand times a day
The orange draped priest
Offers the people fire before the
Great Bull.
Yet, when a four year old girl
waves fire toward her eyes
her devotion melts all duty.

Temple of Ganesh

Temple of Ganesh

Touch flame and do not burn.
Carry fire to face.
Catch rose water through open fingers.
Splash forehead.
Red dot the third eye
Hang over rail.
Peering into your grotto.
Marigold bounty drape
your rock black body.
You are elephant, Ganesh
Whose song penetrates
My Western Wall.

Note: Nancy and Nelson’s home is palatial.
Granite floors and stairways…beautifully constructed.
We fall asleep to New Year’s music and rise
To the 6:00Am voices of the Mass.

Eating Ice Cream in India

Eating Ice Cream in India

Wedding sweets sent by Nancy
A bowl of saffron ice cream
To spoon to our lips with love.
Americans like ice cream.

A zulu bar bout by Regis in
Gudjarat is rapture of chocolaty carmel
A shock after bananas at every meal,

Small cups of plain vanilla
On the way home from the Mumbai concert
Comfort food to sweeten a life
Too rich.

South Gujariti Village

South Gujariti Village, Mandal, Shining Light
You asked me to come and I did.

Watershed peace makers igniting
micro financed, sari glittering
women saving up power,
birthing a center many stories high.
Formerly beaten up, your
tribal women aren’t beaten down.

Mandal, light, your ready bed, your church,
school, hospital, round table of grace,
Your three priests, Francis, Vally, Keyshore,
Dancing with me like Jesus, with love, with love.
Mandal, you asked me to come and I did.
How could I resist the light in your eyes?

Mumbai concert

Mumbai concert

The best concert was not a concert.
The best concert was love in service
The best concert grew from rest, true introductions and
• ten willing Indian InterPlayers
•seven playful American-australian InterPlay leaders
•twenty-five years of practice
• two Indian Truck tassels
•One linking language
• twenty children dancing with our palms
•eleven shirtless boys dancing a Hindu prayer.
• a changed priest and a scientists melted heart
• the hospitality of Conossian sisters and
•hundreds who couldn’t resist dancing round the people.

Sadhy with a cell phone

Sadhy with a cell phone

In white
he meets me.

His small bag
With a thousand gifts.

PhD’s, healing theories,
Vipassana dancing at his hem,

Hard to see me
in the happy beggar.

Part Franciscan, part Buddha
Hindu lightwalker.

I judge the holy man
too holy.

Overboard in laughing,
fasting, renouncing, praying.

Disarming me
he takes up a cell phone.

Befriended, I am
delivered to my destination.

Mende Hand

Mende Hand

Garden on my forearm
Peacock on my palm
Fingertips grow flowers
As she holds my hand open
To the henna of her heart.

Tina from Mandal
Spoke no English
I spoke no Gujarati
But we had art, love,
A thousand sorrows, InterPlay,
and gratitude to share.

God is a Rickshaw Driver

God is a Rickshaw Driver.

One million black and yellow bees
Cycling madly through the streets.
I don’t know if I’ll make it home tonight.
squeezing with friends into the rickshaw’s back seat.

Open air, free hearts, the joy of the night!
“Waaa!” commands the boney driver to the street,
twisting an invisible joy knob in the air.
“Waaa!” we reply, exploding in laughter.

He laughs, calls out to other drivers.
We speak back in tongues.
Language doesn’t matter.
Life is hysterical. We abandon all control.

Loud, loud, the driver plays music,
dances, calls out, Waaaa!
We are right behind him,
Strangers stare at us rocking the rickshaw

In Mumbai, buzzing through smog, frenzy, insanity,
we weigh down on the uphills and try to help
the driver laughs, bobbling his crazy head.
Suddenly, at a stoplight, inches away descend

a giant gilded framed Ganesh, a blue hairy puppet shooting a tongue, red balloons, and a woman begging with baby
Green light and we dash onward.

Our driver does what he always does,
dancing, driving, swerving, stopping
just in time, free radical, conscious lunatic
calling out for all the world to play.


In south gudjarat in Bardepada Father Galdos blesses the tribal dancers, their joy, energy, life, village ways.
Oosha, a kindergarten teacher in her twenties runs with a stick for her second leg. Her eyes and smile come first.
When we gather to lead InterPlay Oosha sits on the ground, her hand to the drum and begins the song.
Women link arms, dancing short curving snakes.
Oosha. Oosha. I want to sing your song.
When you sing we dance in festival and prayer.

Day One: Climb a small hill

Day one: Climb a small hill

Tribal peoples await our arrival
with bowls of water to wash our hands
and warm smiles to unhinge our hearts.
A fifteen year old drummer ambassadors us.
Women in gold and red saris
dance in procession to the beat of drums.
We follow and a tiny child grabs our finger.
Up a small hill, dancing through their lives
we are led: InterPlayers and Catholics from Vasai.
Up the hill to the porch of a small church
one by one we receive red dots of honor
on our foreheads. All is joy.
In the sanctuary, to drumming, we enter
between lines of women dancing.
They take us up, linking our arms in theirs
women with women, men with men,
in such radiant order, the spiral dance begins.
Children present us with rose after rose.
We drink cola, dance in shape and stillness
A dance on behalf of their church
and sing Namaste, Namaste
having climbed a small hill
to the top of the world.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

India Hoopla

Tonight the group of India InterPlayers will have our closing hoopla. What an amazing and marvelous time! We are eager to write and share our experiences in poetry, dance, story and song. Stay posted to this blog to see video of the tribal dancers, our visit to the same area where Slum dog millionaire was made, and so much more. We have played very very hard and we are seeing amazing growth and receptivity to InterPlay in Mumbai and far beyond. Tomorrow I travel to Bangalore to teach Franciscans who are coming for training from all of Asia. Wow. What a strange, beautiful, and terribly demanding world. Thank heaven for InterPlay. Once again, fifteen minutes together in this way and we repeatedly break through the illusions of separateness to become friends. no kidding. Our forms and playful body wisdom continue to blow us away. We'll be blowing in your direction soon. Much Love, XXXCCC Cynthia

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Birthday Celebration

Yesterday was Father Prashant's 60th birthday. While Prashant, Cynthia, Mary Kay and Dennis were out and about the Trish, Gary, Connie and I prepared a birthday of a garland of 60 small peace cranes folded from brochures from the Vasai InterPlay event.

Their folded wings flew words like blessing, play, and spirit.

Prashant's name means "deep peace." It is his life work and his expansive vision touches so many people.

Happy Birthday, Prashant!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tribal dance

We are having such a wonderful, rich, exciting adventure. There is so much to tell, and not enough computer time to tell it!
We went to a tribal dance performance last night. You should have seen the costumes and the wonderful musical instruments. In the dances sometimes they made pyramids three or four people high. They made themselves look like the local animals forming shapes by climbing on top of each other, some hanging off of others by their legs. Well, I guess it's hard to explain it so that you can really imagine what it was like. They danced very fast, with leaps and turns and lots of drums and musical instruments that were a lot like clarinets or oboes, played with reeds that they made themselves from the local grasses.
They also had a wonderful story teller. He spoke in the local language, but we could understand so much of it because of his body language. There were hundreds of school children sitting on the ground wrapped in blankets and watching intently, and laughing and laughing at the story teller.
This has been such an incredible journey!


Imagine 8 American/Australian InterPlayers and 8 Indian InterPlayers dancing on the bridge of the soul.

Imagine performing InterPlay Bollywood style with no rehearsal/a translator/and a bishop in tow.

Imagine following tribal people who wash our hands and dance us in procession up a hill to a chapel where we are invited inside to join the spiral dance.

Imagine us dancing and singing on behalf of 40 people afflicted with leprosy in a clinic.

Imagine taking tea in the home of a Muslim social worker.

Imagine us crying, laughing, loving, and stuggling with our sensory overload.

Imagine flowers and smog, gorgeous saris and an insanity of rickshaws doing the most intense Disneyland walk stop and run of your life.

Imagine Oosha, a woman with polio who can out distance you with one leg and a stick, who sings, and drums, like everyone here, who greets you...and knows your heart.

Imagine much crazy InterPlay with villagers that opens into answering their question about Native people in America.

Imagine InterPlayers, cracked pots that we are, making friends with people quickly, easily, and magically. Imagine our ability to hold and caress each other when it feels like too much.
Imagine this times 1000 and you are getting close to our experience.

Namaste, Namaste
1000 ways to InterPlay
Namaste, Namaste
We bow to you this day.

That is our greeting song.

Keep us in your prayers....Wheeeeeeee.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Leaving for India

Laurie, Connie, CathyAnn and I have rendevoused at the San Francisco airport. We are excited, nervous, called. All of us have a feeling that we are supposed to be on this journney for reasons beyond ourselves. As we step onto our plane for our 20 hours of travel, we carry the InterPlay spirit; FRUITCAKE, FEATHERS, A PORTABLE HOOP, RATTLES, AND RANDOM BOOKS AND CRAFT PROJECTS. Laurie is learning to knit socks on this flight. I am going to attempt to be more techie on this trip, but we'll see how that goes. Off we go. Prashant and Maggie meet us in Mumbai where we connect with Trish, Mary Ann and Dennis Hamilton and Gary Fields. Peace through play! Cynthia

Saturday, December 13, 2008


The excitement and trepidation for this trip to India is growing and growing! I'm reading books, and visiting websites, looking at maps. I can't wait!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The excitement for going to India is growing. Seven of us in the US are having small conference calls to get ourselves ready. WHeeeeeee.