Elf Fest - Keshvar Project Dancing on the Grounds of Lothlorien

Lothlorien Nature Sanctuary is a green haven and spiritual retreat dedicated to the healing of the earth and of one another. Lothlorien is part of Elvin H.O.M.E., Inc. (Holy Order of Mother Earth) a federal 501c3 organization. Lothlorien is 109 acres of forested hills and valleys located at the edge of Southern Indiana's limestone belt. It is a place to escape the outside world, drop its concerns and masks, and attune to the natural rhythms of the earth. It is a work in progress, being created and sustained entirely by volunteer labor as an act of love and faith. Lothlorien is open for anyone to visit and attend festivals. 

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Keshvar Project attended and performed at Elf Fest, an annual event held every Memorial Day Weekend. We saddled the troupe up and made the trip for the 4th year in a row. Of course, the heat this year and as I recall, every year, was oppressive. Performing in the withering heat, while sizzling, does build strong bonds between troupe members! Somehow suffering together and still being able to smile changes a person. It may be as simple as just chalking it up to experience. Mark’s fingers kept slipping off the keys of his clarinet, Dan’s hands were sticking to his drum like he had been eating a jelly doughnut, Terrie’s sweaty palms prevented her from holding onto her fan.  The cussing, sighing, wiping, drinking backstage was unsightly but the sound that the band put out captivated the audience beyond belief. The dancing mesmerized young and old. The stage at Lothlorien is in the center of the campground that is surrounded by trees so the acoustics are awesome. When we took the stage, the crowd was small but that Keshvar sound lured folks in like sirens do and by the end of the show, the Lightning Shrine Stage Area was full with an enthusiastic crowd! Thank you to Jeff, head Elf, for giving us that opportunity and for the people that supported the performance.

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The show was the highlight for us but there was plenty more happenings during the weekend. The hike to the creek is highly satisfying for all the rock hounds in the group. This year the creek was flowing and it was incredibly refreshing and ritualistic to submerge in the cold, cold water. Hours flowed by walking along the banks of that magical place. There is no better way to entertain the kids and it makes for a good night’s sleep.

So, dancing and playing music in the hot sun, a hike and a dip in the creek, cooking dinner outdoors should make you ready for bed, right? No, not quite. At Elf Fest, sundown is the just the start of the "getting good" part. There is another magical place at Lothlorien, it is called the Thunder Dome. An open air, dome like structure with a fire pit in the center. A super soft, sandy floor that is as inviting as a white sandy beach. The trained fire tenders start a huge, creatively designed, sculptured bonfire. They tend to it all night, they keep all the dancers that travel around the fire out of harm’s way. There is not enough to be said about the drummers that come to the Thunder Dome. There is a lively energy that feeds your soul. To dance around the fire is primal and you can feel it, you can also feel everyone else feeling it! I think the most amazing thing about an evening in the dome is that it is contagious, it is for every walk of life. All of those social inhibitions that are felt in everyday life are left behind when your shoes come off and you experience a deep rooted freedom like never before.

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And the next morning you think you could sleep all day but that is not how it works. You are so energized from the night before, you are ready to do it all over again. Elf Fest is truly a festival, a ceremony and although you are not exactly sure what right or ritual you are celebrating, you are thankful to be there. Grateful to be alive.  And for more pictures, check out the Gallery page!

Experienced by: terrie Mmmmmmm

 

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