On May 21-23, 2021, FIREDANCE!: A Selection of First Nation Stories breathed light and love into our factory halls for three sold out shows, presented by Diata Diata International Folkloric Theatre and directed by the legendary Hudson community leader Pamela Badila.

There are so many words, and yet not nearly enough, to capture the energy and love these artists gifted us: Community. Compassion. Lineage. Storytelling. Joy. Ingenuity. Beauty. Inspiration.

Ms. Pamela Badila has been presenting plays and teaching Hudson youth about different cultures for 16 years, and at Sunday’s performance, announced that FIREDANCE would be her final time doing so, feeling an emotional call to move on to another creative endeavor. Thank you to the Badila family for gracing our halls with this important moment, nearly 10 years after a Diata Diata play last took place in Basilica. We are eternally honored.

Thank you Alima’s West African Cuisine for being there all weekend serving delicious and nourishing food. And thank you to everyone who came to share in this experience and support our Black and Brown neighbors.

The Badila family, with the inspired and fearless leadership of their Matriarch, Pamela, are a City of Hudson treasure. They provide a sort of spiritual unity and center to our community. We have been honored to host them since the beginnings of our art factory, and grateful to have them back. We have watched their family grow and their talents continue to impress and explode, each and every one of them. This is an opportunity for you to enter a world of ancient ritual through their creativity, and learn more about the expansive work they do in Hudson and beyond.” – Melissa Auf der Maur, BH co-founder/director.

All photos by Anna Victoria

The stories, the representation activation keeps the culture alive, paying homage to diversity, seeing that we are more alike than we are different. Relating breeds understanding breeds compassion breeds humanism.” – Ntangou Badila

Thank you all who came and supported my family , and your Black and Brown neighbors in their Brilliance✨this was just a weekend of what can happen when community all comes together, we make Fire!🔥 we birthed something sooo beautiful from set design, to adornments, to fuzzy wear, to movement, to music to lighting ✨rehearsals through zoom until the last week😅🙈🌟 🌟All of our hands collectively made it happen, our energy and creativity gave the fire life! And it was felt by all who came to witness and feel. Giving and receiving medicinal nourishment. Storytelling is our way to carry our history, traditions, family, love, ceremony , reflect on emotions, and all the elemental spirit forces around us ~ we learn lessons and are able to relate to the characters in the story, be they plant, animal, element, Human, we learn that they are all related~ vibrating on a similar breath. We are able to see ourselves in a different perspective, love and forgive. I come from a long line of storytellers and medicine men and women, and I am so Proud of my Mama ~Badila~for once again guiding community on such a magical experience! And all for free to make sure the intentions remain pure and accessible to all. As a community “Play” is a key ingredient, and i take this key wisdom throughout my life. That is what Waters the growth💦Make sure to continue to play and enjoy! Try new things and experience new parts of yourself and the beings around you. Mama is a magician at making a game of celebrating anything, and I am happy to inherit this gift. Take a deep breath, let go and enjoy this life you have been blessed to live✨✨✨keep growing ~ Diata Diata✨Step by Step✨✨ Thank you @basilicahudson for opening up your space for us to create our world🌀✨the seeing hearing , trusting and sharing~ that Is Black Lives Matter ✊🏾” – Nkoula Badila