Harvest festival ushers in autumn at Salt Marsh Nature Center

The Turkish twirl: A dancer twirls to choreographer Diana Perez’s “Turkish Delight” during this year’s Harvest Dance at the Salt Marsh Nature Center on Oct. 7.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Fall is harvest time, and there’s only one way to ensure a strong yield — dance!

The Brooklyn Dance Center heralded autumn the old-fashioned way — albeit, with modern dances — spinning and pirouetting, while singer August Michael and Native American drummer Roman “Red hawk” Perez laid down the tunes for this year’s annual Harvest Dances on Oct. 7.

The dance center was represented by 10 lovely ladies, who proudly executed four elegant dances, including “The First of Autumn,” a contemporary piece performed in beautiful gowns adorned with fall-colored leaves.

“All the pieces we performed were modern, and there was also a belly dance piece, but ‘The First of Autumn’ was a modern piece, in celebration of the fall,” said Brooklyn Dance Center Director Gail Kroog.

Red Hawk and his wife Diana took over the second half of the show, and performed the sacred Blessing of the Four Directions ritual, before filling the Salt Marsh Nature Center with the basson rumble of an expertly played conch shell.

“The conch shell has a very powerful sound,” said Kroog. “It’s really moving.”

The event was scheduled to be held outside, but nature had her way — for the second year in a row — raining the dancers out of the park and into the nature center.

But, like last year, the audience followed suit.

“I got lots of good feedback from the audience and they felt it was very informative and uplifting,” said Kroog. “Anyways, it wasn’t pouring. It was actually pretty nice.”

Reach reporter Colin MIxson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.

Conk!: Roman “Redhawk” Perez blows into a conk shell during a traditional earth blessing at this year’s Harvest Dance at the Salt Marsh nature Center on Oct. 7.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

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