The Happiness rite is like a wedding event, where the audience/guests are the wedding party. The rite investigates how laughter and pleasure reside in the body. It features four dancers and commissioned music by Nathaniel Braddock, played live by the Occidental Brothers Dance Band International, whose sound is a lively blend of high-energy soukous, rootsy Ghananian Highlife and African Jazz.
Happiness begins with the Happiness Fête where guests are invited to engage in a collective celebration of wellness and joy by having their portrait drawn; experiencing a massage, Delirious Hair Design or personal music moment; learning line dances, sharing a meal family style and more.
On arrival, the guests are welcomed by the Sunbeams who write what makes them happy on a white balloon, which is then attached to the person and floats above them like a thought bubble. Guests are also invited to write what makes them unhappy on a card, which is placed in a ‘pool of unhappiness.’ The Fête is followed by laughtercises, and a performance by DELIRIOUS and the Occidental Brothers Dance Band International, that culminates in a dance party and a ritual skewering of unhappiness .
Happiness is about wellness, self-care, and making time to relax, laugh and recharge for the labor to uphold the values of life, liberty and happiness for everyone.
photos: Julie Lemberger, Crystal Wei
FOOD Provided by Chef Lex & Brownsville Community Culinary Center whose culinary program provides free, world-class culinary vocational training to Brownsville residents Menu Butternut Squash Galette Chicken Skewers Crudite – carrots, celery, in season vegetables Black Bean Hummus Fresh Bread Chutney Sweat Potato Pie Sorrel
MASSEUSE Darryl Afam-Aiken Life Wellness
PORTRAIT ARTISTS TBD
PERSONAL MUSIC MOMENT Nathaniel Braddock Greg Ward Kenneth Salters
DELIRIOUS HAIR DESIGNS “Hairstyles for the playful at heart” Delirious Hair Designs creates fantastical, playful hair designs with combs, hairpins, gel, and a variety of objects ranging from flowers to mousetraps, toothbrushes, feathers, toy soldiers and more. The objects are arranged on a person's head to create a unique hair design that resembles a hat. Hair designs are possible on all people whether they have long hair, short hair or are bald. No hair is ever cut.