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Salt Marsh Nature Center celebrates Mother Earth — in the rain • Brooklyn Paper

Salt Marsh Nature Center celebrates Mother Earth — in the rain

Blessing of the earth: Gail Kroog, director of the Brooklyn Dance Center, participated in Roman “Redhawk” Perez’s sacred ritual blessing the earth at the Salt Marsh Nature Center in Marine Park on April 22.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Mother Nature was feted in grand style on Sunday as members of the Brooklyn Dance Center celebrated Earth Day with elegantly coreographed twists, twirls, swoops and songs.

The belly dance: Yaritza Pendergast danced choreographer Diana Perez’s the “Turkish Delight” at the Salt Marsh Nature Center in Marine Park on April 22.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Brooklyn Dance Center Director Gail Kroog said she was astounded by the standing-room-only crowd at the Salt Marsh Nature Center on Avenue U — especially since heavy rains had washed out most Earth Day events across the borough.

Sister act: Dancing to choreographer Phil Stambaugh’s “One Day” are Avital & Adi Weinberg at the Salt Marsh Nature Center in Marine Park on April 22.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

“We did it indoors,” Kroog said. “It was kind of nice because it was very cosy inside, even though we can see the rain coming down outside.”

Enter the Matrix: Dancing to choreographer Phil Stambaugh’s “Rythym Nation” is Yaritza Prendergast at the Salt Marsh Nature in Marine Park on April 22.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

The troupe’s dances included original ballet, a belly dance, and hip-hop routines composed specifically for the Earth Day event. All of the dances were performed by Dance Center students whose ages ranged from 10 to 50.

Choreographer Sarah Rodak’s “Cupid Variations” was performed by Sarah Rodak at the Salt Marsh Nature Center in Marine Park on April 22.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Other Earth Day attractions included singer August Michael and modern shaman Roman “Redhawk” Perez, who performed a traditional Native American blessing replete with drums, flutes and another dance designed to ensure the continued health of Marine Park’s salt marsh habitat, Kroog explained.

Sacred rituals: Roman “Redhawk” Perez performed a sacred ritual blessing the earth at the Salt Marsh Nature Center in Marine Park on April 22.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

“Dancers, singers, and Native Americans volunteer every year,” Kroog said. “It’s kind of a tradition, and its good for the Salt Marsh Nature Center, because the marsh is a very important habitat for birds and other animals. It’s really an important place.”

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

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