Missed the change to buy tickets before Elements sold out?
WELL MISS NO LONGER!
Watch the entire program on Youtube by searching up "Dandilyonn Elements" or using the video below. Click "Watch on Youtube" for more. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!
Earth is Worth It
Different pieces, different places
Same problem, same planet
Different speeches, different dresses
Same problem, same planet
Different faces, different races
Same problem, same planet
There is only one planet
The planet we call home
Where the 5 elements meet
Birthing life as we roam
The blue gem it was
Now raging fires and frozen hills
As selfish, blind men
Burn oil for a few green bills
Say 'no' to this
Don't let it melt away
Let's join hands today
As we pledge and we pray
Yes, we are different faces from different places
But we fight the same problem to save the same planet
Happy Earth Day 2018 from Dandilyonn to you!
Photo Credit: Swagato Basumallick
By: Ojaswee Chaudhary
"Take this Earth Day as a special day to give some love to the place you were born and will spend your whole life with."
It is that time of year again! No… not the Christmas. Not 4th of July either! It is Earth Day! At Dandilyonn, Earth Day is one of our favorite times of the year because it's when all our amazing and motivated communities shines, coming together to do good actions for our Earth.
The Bay Area does some awesome things to help hinder climate change. They have been putting in many new structures and changing multiple systems to be more efficient and eco-friendly. Here are some opportunities for you all to do tomorrow on Earth Day!
Earth Day Community Clean Up: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. April 21, MacArthur Community Baptist Church, 2301 Rumrill Blvd., San Pablo. Clean Up on Rumrill Boulevard. Enjoy games, educational activities and more. Refreshments provided. All ages are welcome. Prizes for the team that collects the most litter. More Details: earthteam.net/node/1698
2018 City of Alameda Earth Day Festival: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. April 21, Washington park, 740 Central Avenue. Activities for kids, Earth Day games, exhibits and bike-powered spin art machine. https://bit.ly/2GYSy3q. Coastal clean-up: 8:30-10 a.m. Crown Memorial State Beach, Crab Cove Visitors Center.
More details: https://bit.ly/2GUvEKu
Earth Day Hike and Wine Tasting: 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. April 22, Benziger Family Winery, 1883 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen. Chris Benziger will lead the hike, share stories about the historic Benziger property and biodynamic farming, and share the history behind some of the family’s favorite vineyard blocks. $30. 800-989-8890, email@example.com, More details: https://bit.ly/2q5otqU
National Geographic: Symphony for Our World: 8 p.m. April 22, Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco. This event pairs National Geographic’s stunning natural history footage with an original symphony composed by Bleeding Fingers Music, performed live by a full orchestra and choir. $60-$191.50. More details: Shnsf.com
Oakland Earth Day: April 21. Groups and individuals of all ages and abilities are invited to join the 24th annual Oakland Earth Day cleanup and restoration projects at creeks, parks and neighborhood sites throughout Oakland. All tools are provided. More details: https://bit.ly/2GCEApX
Coyote Hills Regional Park Visitors Center: 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. April 21, 8000 Patterson Ranch Road, Fremont. Create your own litter-bug craft, view an environmental puppet show (11:40 a.m. and 3:40 p.m.), and play recycling games. 510-544-3220. More details: http://www.ebparks.org/
Earth Day Santa Cruz: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. April 21, San Lorenzo Park, 137 Dakota Avenue. San Lorenzo River clean-up, climbing wall, music, recycled fashion show, arts and crafts, face painting, compost workshop and more. More details: https://scearthday.org/
Earth Day San Francisco: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. April 21, Civic Center Plaza, San Francisco. Celebrate the 49th year of Earth Day and the 100th anniversary of the Save the Redwoods League. Live bands, DJs, speakers, dance and performances, fashion show, chef zone and eco demo. Free. More details: http://www.earthdaystreetfest.org/
These events are all such great opportunities to contribute to the cause of climate change. All it takes is one visit and, of course, a caring heart! In our own Bay Area we have done so much for our planet and with your help, we'll do so much more in the future! I hope you all take this Earth Day as a special day to give some love to the place you were born and will spend your whole life with.
P.S. (Look out for an article soon talking about Bay Area’s climate change endeavors!)
By: Shreeya Indap
“Yes, we are different faces from different places. But we fight the same problem to save the same planet.” Five days later, I can still hear those words ringing in my ears, spoken by the dozens of youth that performed in my nonprofit Dandilyonn’s show Elements. At the time, I hadn’t processed what was happening and now that I’ve gotten the chance to, it all seems so surreal.
My partner Ojaswee and I had wanted to host a dance show fundraiser ever since we started Dandilyonn as we ourselves met in dance class ten years ago. So when last year our walkathon turned out to be a huge success, we were inspired to do something bigger, and we turned to our common passion: dance. Our idea was to spread the message of combating climate change through dance, though later we added multimedia and poetry. The show would take the audience on a journey through the story of Earth’s birth, to display the beauty of what this planet has to offer.
Planning Elements has been a journey of its own, including learning valuable lessons and life skills. I learned to never hesitate in reaching out to people for whatever I needed; the worst thing that can happen is they say no! In fact, that’s how Elements began. In 2017, I attended a Greenpeace conference about how teenagers could install solar panels in their schools and when I approached my principal with this idea, he suggested we raise money for LED lights instead. Ojaswee and I knew exactly how we wanted to do it. That summer, we created the concept of the show, found professional musicians who were willing to create a new piece with us, booked the Firehouse Arts Center, and started reaching out to other dance troops.
It was during this time where we hit the most speed bumps in our journey. I remember this happening one, two, three, four times in a matter of a week; the phone on the counter would lit up and began to vibrate, sending ripples of worry through me and my mom. Was it another group calling to tell us they could no longer perform? It was our mistake that we had booked the theater on Easter Sunday. After multiple discussions and the theater’s inability to give us another date, we decided to stick with the plan, which meant finding more groups. I brought in two groups from my school to perform, Hip-Hop and Tahitian. Later, when I heard my school’s Tahitian group was planning to drop as well, I rushed to talk to the choreographer and helped her find a solution to her time commitments by holding the practices myself. It was this that taught me the importance of a Plan B and being ready to overcome any setbacks.
And setbacks there were. Our first rehearsal with the musicians was extremely unproductive as Ojaswee and I were complete amateurs and had no idea what to do. Over time, we learnt how to collaborate with them the way our dance teacher Antara Didi did, and by the end of it, we were running whole run-throughs by ourselves. The day of the show also had a major setback as two of the light up gloves we needed for the beginning of the dance stopped working. Surprisingly without any panic (I had gotten so used to making Plan Bs), we adjusted our dance so it would look great even without those two gloves. These experiences have taught me a valuable lesson: There have been and always will be challenges that I have to overcome, but while rejections and failures close one door, other doors always open. If not, don’t shy away from opening a window.
Along with these lessons, I learned how to communicate with and appeal to different people. For example, I had to present for sponsorships and grants where I had spoken more about what the other person was getting out of it in a different way than how I talked about Elements at my school’s faculty meeting. I was also forced to prioritize and give up my free time, such as my lunches, to work on Elements.
Even though this was the case, it never felt like work because of how much I enjoyed doing the day-to-day Elements tasks. I had discovered this motivation and drive I never knew I possessed because of the passion I had for my work. I would spend hours creating the concept and final formations, making new social media posts, designing costumes and the program, updating our website, practicing my dances, outreach to sponsors, and doing voiceovers for the background videos. Additionally, I made a mash-up soundtrack for my MSJ hip-hop group, brought in emcees, followed up with head choreographers, and held practices for multiple teams. This hard work put in by everyone working on Elements paid off, as we sold out three weeks before the show, something that we initially thought would not be possible. Every day, Ojaswee and I would text each other something along the lines of “ONE WEEK TILL ELEMENTS!” or “I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING!” And every night during the week before the show, I would dream about Elements out of excitement or stay up going over the choreography in my head.
The day of the show was everything I had hoped for and more. My two performances felt so short and we hadn’t made any mistakes because of the amount of time we had poured into perfecting them. I also managed to find the time to watch a few dances from the balcony and I experienced a feeling I can’t accurately put into words. My heart was filled with this immense joy, at the realization that the youth on stage were performing in my show, for the cause that I believed in.
Looking back, I can proudly say that every choice I made and everything I did was worth it and eventually led to an extremely successful show. And, I am so thrilled and honored that I had my entire community there to share this experience with me. Seeing the youth come out in the finale and hearing everyone speak those lines was unforgettable because I could feel the power of the words inside of me. Many people in the audience told me they felt the same way and I couldn’t have been happier that our message was really heard the way I had hoped it would have been. And in the end, as my heart warms at how successful the show was and how much money we have raised, I know it’s because of the community we have built around it. Ojaswee and I may have brought it together, planted the seed of climate change awareness, but it’s to them that this success belongs. They are the dandelions that have spread our message and have made our impacts possible.
The Dandilyonn community has accomplished so much since its birth. Exactly a year ago, we hosted our first walkathon and donated $1200. This year, we hosted our first dance show and will donate more than double that. And next year… well, I can’t wait to see what 2019 will bring.