The Shakti Rising Project was something I put together during my second pregnancy, though the seeds of it had been planted 6 years earlier during my first pregnancy. It was a pre-MotherFly production, but in looking back on it now I see that it was truly the embodiment of MotherFly even before I had a name for it, because it brought together all the aspects of myself--the mother, the dreamer, the creator, the midwife.
It was the integration of all the pieces of myself, which is truly at the heart of MotherFly. Our vision is to midwife the birth a model for motherhood that allows us to be both deeply present with our children and fully in touch with the essence of who we are as women, as creators, as artists, as dreamers, as change makers.
"Shakti Rising: Maya's Labyrinth" explores the concepts of pregnancy, birth and loss, expressing life at its very core through the art of dance, storytelling, music and ritual. The show features an array of 28 musicians and dancers who tell a powerful story through various styles of movement including, bellydance, North African, Afro-Cuban folklore, and modern.
Both locally and internationally known artists collaborated in this unique project, including Tiffany "Hanan" Madera, Harmonic Motion, Marisol Blanco of Sikan Afro-Cuban Dance Project, Sonya Feldman, and Venus Rising. The cast included 28 women, 2 men, 15 mothers, 2 fathers, 3 midwives, 1 doula, 5 children, and one baby in the womb.
The Shakti Rising project included both the performance as well as a panel discussion hosted by Mobile Midwives, a Miami based non-profit, on exploring health disparities related to pregnancy and birth. Loss is a stark reality in the United States, where Black mothers and babies are dying at much higher rates than other races. The U.S. is the only industrialized country with a rising maternal mortality rate. Solutions such as breastfeeding, education and access to midwives were addressed.
Maya’s Labyrinth tells a personal, and yet universal story, inviting us to make a shift from the medical model of pregnancy and birth to the personal, from the mundane to the spiritual. Shakti reminds us that becoming a mother is a rite of passage, a sacred miracle that connects us to a distant primal part of ourselves, and a sisterhood that is as old as time.
To watch the full production go to: