Author Archive

Bat Mitzvah – Private Party – Jaffa, Tel Aviv Israel

Cypris will be adding a little spin to this special girls day!

Mazel Tov

The Travels of Cypris – Jerusalem

The road to Jerusalem climbs through ancient mountains.  Unlike Tel Aviv, there are many ways to get into the city.  We chose to go through the forest.  It was my first glimpse and the many trees of Israel; hardy evergreens, that have withstood the test of time and the elements, supported by the rocky soil.  The roads are really small and windy, making it seem as though we were one of those caravans of people making the pass over the mountains and into the city.

I  was going to stay Sivan, a very calming prescence I met as she was cooking for the DPW team of the Israeli Burn the previous weekend.  I  told her i was planning on couch surfing in Jerusalem, and she invited me to come stay with her.  I was planning on couch surfing for the first time of my trip, but could not pass up her kind offer.  I was dropped at Independence Park and spun myself into the fleeting sun as I awaited her return from the Market. She rolled up with a huge rolling bag full of goodies for Shabbat dinner.  I met her friend Anat and we had a relaxing conversation about the ups and downs of travel over fresh goat cheese, veggies, tea, rice crackers and chocolate.  It was friday, the evening of Shabbat, when the tradition is to cook a huge meal with your family and friends.

The ratio of vegetarian/vegan to meat eaters is reversed here.  Us meat eaters are in the minority, at least in the group of friends i have been hanging out with.  Sivan and i have a great kitchen relationship.  You friends out there know how particular i am in the kitchen and i was excited to see how well we flowed together. It is fresh garlic season here.  Each clove is shrouded in a light purple layer of skin beneath its white exterior.  We sauteed up a bunch of greens with a couple heads of garlic and onion.  This was layered with bechamel sauce, feta, mozzarella and wanna-be parmesan cheese.  We made a salad, lemon-time vinaigrette, and the dressing for Sivan’s mom’s famous cabbage salad.  We decided to hold the meal at Anat’s because of her large table and selection on wine glasses.  The meal was rounded out with a roasted eggplant, onion, and tahini dish of amazing, slightly sweet dal and jasmine rice, tapioca pudding with strawberries and chocolate for desert.

The next day Sivan and I headed into the old city.  The sight of the ancient walls is intoxicating.  The rocks are tan in color with a very distinct, almost fractal pattern of intersecting squares.  The stones are very slick and have been rubbed smooth by so many millions of people whose steps have come before.  The old city market is slightly claustrophobic, about three people can fit abreast in the isles.  The walls tower about as the vendors call out to you as you approach, as you gaze into their stall and as you pass.  So much beauty is crammed into a very small areas, Moroccan furniture, Arab and Yemenite jewelry, gold and silver ornate kitchenware, leather sandals and bags, linen tunics and robes, belly dancing EVERYTHING, food stands, fruits and veggies, regular household items, souvenirs, like a plaque that reads,”Shalom, Y’all.”  It is a hagglers market.  It would be silly to pay the price the ask.  My favorite experience was in the first store we stopped in, a custom belly dancing shop where the store owner taught us a couple tying techniques for scarves.

The western wall was our next stop.  I find the word stop very applicable in this case.  The energy from 2,000 years of turmoil as well as celebration and honor causes you to really pause all thoughts of anything.  People write their wishes, memories, and prayers on pieces of paper then stick them into the cracks in the rock.  White plastic lawn chairs are set out for sitting as well as used to stand to get the paper into the highest crack possible.  The access to the wall is divided by sex.  I placed my head against the wall and let the waves of gratitude flow over.

We walked back home through the Armenian Quarter and stopped in a few of the pottery shops to enjoy the intricate hand painted pieces. After a rest, Sivan and I bussed to a Couch Surfer’s house for dinner.  We has spinach-shouka, a combination of the Tradition Shakshouka dish of simmered tomatoes and eggs with the left over greens from the night before.  We left a little late for busing and had to cab back home.


The Travels of Cypris – DOOF

I thought that i had a ride taken care of to get to the festival, but everything fell through at the last minute. I started posting on the event page for a ride, which seemed to get no response.  Turns out, lots of people were providing solutions, but i could not read them becuase they were all in Hebrew.  Luckily, a kind American girl sent me a message letting me know I could ride with them.

I took a bus to Herzlya, about 30 mintues out of the city, and was able to make my stop thanks to a gentle mother figure.  I have found the Isrealis to be a very kind people.  Although, I have learned that kindness does not equal politeness here.  Interactions sometimes feel abrupt lacking any please or thank you.  Sorry is not a word people use, which i found out through my over use of it.  I have learned that when i need something, ask directly, do not apologize for not speaking Hebrew, or start the conversation with, ‘Excuse me, please may I….”  People have walked me for blocks and blocks when i was lost, helped me with cab rides and ensured i was home safely, and refused to give up on translational issues  insisting we figure out some way to communicate.

So I made it to the central bus station in Herzlya and was picked up and taken to this great mutli-level house in the city. The sun was shining and I enjoyed the view of the water from the comfy couch.  I was fed musili and yogurt as the group packed.  After car tetris, we headed North.  The traffic was pretty terrible, but once we got out of the city the scenery started to fly by.  My giant back back took up the whole center seat and I could not see my travel  mates.  We rocked out until our stop at what seemed like just a regular gas station.  Around the back were a few little restaruants: noodle house, coffee shop, and arab food.  We went for the hummus, falafel, tahini, chips, and taboli. I was able to buy an airmatress in the gas station and was happy to atleast have a sleeping bag and something to place it on.

I did not have a way of contacting my hosts and had no idea where they were camping.  Thankfully, the people that gave me a ride offered to let me stay in their camp.  They had a shade structure so i set up my air mattress and sleeping bag alongside the tents.  By the evening the camp was full and a kind women offered to let me sleep in her tent.  I was so glad to have shelter provided!  I was ready to get my hands into the Trance scene and my body into the Sea of Galili.

I found the Magaya stage where i would be performing and spun to the accoustic jam that was going on.  I was in the right place, surrounded by creative people, vegan food, great music, and free hug signs.  I felt like i had been transported back to the 60’s hippy movement.  This feeling only increased as the festival went on.  We dressed in costumes, sang songs, paraded around the festival offering chai and baked goods for sale, free hugs, and attempting to pass out flyers.  We were not super well recieved by some of the festival goers.  I felt at a loss because I could only understand body language and my flyer passing out was really piss poor because no one wanted one or could understand what we were trying to do.  I spent the afternoon spinning on and off at Magaya with a few moments of shared friendly flow.

As night rolled around the trance set in.  And boy did those BPM’s ramp up.  I spotted someone spinning glow poi on the out skirts of the crowd.  He was Russian and did not speak a word of English.  Thank goodness flow is an international language!  We spent hours jamming together and showing each other moves.  It felt freeing to be with out words, but still able to communicate.  The security guards came up to us and offered words of, “Beautiful, I like very much, and good good.”

I went the wrong way back to my camp and heard someone saying something in my direction in Hebrew.  I walked up to a completely deserted bar where a guard and a bartender were standing.  They let me know that I could not get out the way i was going.  I took the opportunity to chat them up.  Our conversation led to many questions about my reason for coming to Israel.  Instead of explaining, i started spinning and everything became clear.

The next day began with a dip in the Sea of Galilee.  It took a lot of effort to get in the water.  The water was dingy and there was a lot of trash floating about.  I have never scene so many plastic bottles strew throughout the beach front and the reeds. But, I had to get over myself and get into this place of supposed miracles.  Once away from the shore, with my back to the festival, i enjoyed the surrounding mountains.  I imagined what it was like before our over populous invasion.

As the night set in, i found myself wanting to get away from the generators, bright lights, and  music.  I started wandering down the shore in search of some quiet darkness.  Just as i was in the shadows, i heard a group offer hellos.  I followed their voices and was invited to sit.  It was Russian friends who had come to hear the trance music from afar, not wanting to pay to get in.  They adopted me and fed me kebab, sausages, hummus, salad, and the liquor of Israel – Arak.  Arak is an anise flavored clear liquor that turns translucent when mixed with water.  I like it mixed with lemonade.  One of the ladies of the group was a poi enthusiast who got very excited by my flow toys.  I shared a few transitions and then let loose and completed my spin to great applause.

Upon my return to the festival, I saw fire from afar.  My fire gear had not arrived yet, so i gravitated toward their flame.  I found myself at home with group of you-tube spinning dorks.  I was able to get a nice poi spin in, then we all headed back to camp to have a flow geek out.  It was my first fire in Israel!

The rest of the festival i dipped in and out of the water, got my trance dance on, and enjoyed entertaining camps as i wandered.  One of my favorite moments was when a man walked up to me with my fins and asked to show me a video.  He saw Buugeng on you tube months ago and has been searching and searching to figure out what they were. His absolute glee in seeing Dai’s website was priceless!  He thanked me every time he saw me with tons of hugs and smiles.

The trip was topped off with one of the best meals i have had since being here.  We met up with the rest of our camp at what looked like a truck stop.  We sat, with our dirt and paint covered selves as the server kept brining out dishes upon dishes of hummus, two kinds of egg plant, two kinds of cauliflower, beet salad, tomato and cucumber salad, taboli, chips, until the table was completely covered in food.  We moved outside so everyone could smoke and were then served coffee, tea, pastries, and candy.  I wish i could have that meal after all the festivals i go to!

Cabaret – The Juggling Cafe – Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Israel

Cypris joins a great line up of funny makers and hilarious hooligans.


ג’אגלינג קפה – יוסי בן יוסי 3 יפו

The Travels of Cypris – Tel Aviv

My first week in Tel Aviv was a dream.  I was swooped up from the airport by my kind host.  We drove through the palm tree lined roads, looking at all the signs i could not read, listening to American rock music, and enjoying the street art. The closer we got to home the smaller the streets got, it seemed like we were driving down ally ways, instead of streets.  We dropped my giant pack off and headed down stairs to the hummus place below his apartment.  I absolutely had to eat gluten this day.  I enjoyed every bite of freshly baked pita, hummus, pickles, olives, rice, beans, chicken kebab and washed it down with Israeli beer.

Next stop was the beach.  It is kind of like Miami, as long as you do not look at street signs, billboards, or listen to people talking.  The Israelis are beautiful people, living an active life style and basking in the rays of sun.  The ocean is lined with buildings that are covered in graffiti.  We hung out on an out cropping of rocks to watch the sunset.  There were a few bridal portraits being taken above a couple making out.

After sunset we headed back to my welcoming place of residence.  I felt completely at ease and very grateful to be in the right place at the right time.  A quick bus ride to Jaffa landed us at Kalimera, the restaurant my other host works at.  It is a modern place with great muscles and fresh bread.  We took the long way home walking through the streets of Old Jaffa.  The lapping of the sea echos through the stone walls.  The energy in those ancient streets is infectious.  The streets are worn smooth by thousands of years of use.  You can imagine the many eons of civilization that have inhabited the area.

My sleeping area was a really long couch, one that i can actually lay flat on!  I slept into the evening and then had my first city adventure.  I picked my way slowly through the small streets, wandering around making sure to not get lost. Made it to the beach and enjoyed the post sunset glow over the Mediterranean Sea. Walked to a small neighborhood bar called cafe Berlin.  A birthday girl was dancing on the bar, insisting on dusting the lights, and breaking the customary plate.  I chatted with the party and got invited to some Italian food across the way.  I learned she was turning 26 and very unhappy about it.  I am so far blessed with not worrying about age.  I have enjoyed the perspective i have gained in my years.  Aging is an unavoidable process, so why fight it?   

The next day was my first performance.  It was a Stoli sponsored house and techno night.  We walked through the streets and arrived at what may have been a bike shop by day.  We wound up the staircase, past a few paintings and into a room with white and black large tile floors.  There was an aerial sling under the staircase, a sculpture of a woman made of vines and zip ties as well as a LED lighted wingspan.  The music was great, with a few familiar track here and there.  I changed into my costume and rocked the dance floor.  I met a couple guys from the North who had lived in South Dakota.  We bonded over the beauty of the Bad Lands and then I taught him a few transitions.  My poi spinning spawned a flow jam with everyone taking turns and enjoying their spin.  We attempted to hit up the after party, but it had been shut down.

We went to eat in Florentina, an up and coming artsy area of Tel Aviv.  Ended up at a hot dog place where we were adopted by a group of gay men.  Nipple ring appreciation turned into zerberts.  I got asked about my flofins, so i spun for the staff.  Their love increased when i came back from the bathroom in my full costume and spun some more!

Sunday we walked along the beach to ritzy family area of North Tel Aviv.  It was surprising to see all of the construction along the way.  Bulldozers were driving into the sea to gather water to mix cement.  I suppose beach side development is inevitable, but I could not possibly see how these buildings, almost at the water line, could survive for very long. As Jimi says,”Castles made of sand fall to the sea, eventually.”  We took the scenic high road and overlooked the religious beach.  This is a private beach that has women only and men only days, but i didn’t really see the point, because the barriers are only so tall, after all, we could see them! We walked down the promenade, a wide palm tree lined walking path, to the French quarter,  in search of juice.

It was then time for my first trip to Carmel Market.  Each of the vendors set up on a metal box that is the size and shape of a large dumpster.  They sell clothing, accessories  veggies, fruit, candy, spices, dried goods, meat, fish, poultry, hummus, catering items, window washing, household goods, juices and everything in between. It is a mix between a flea market and a farmers market with some of the vendors using mega phones to sell their wares. I made a lunch of fried potatoes and greens.  That evening I headed out to a soul jazz performance that was so packed they would not let us in.  Luckily, we could hear the great tunes from the front deck as we sipped wine and chatted about nonsense. Stop for a hot dog on the way home and get my first try at Israeli Capri Sun, it is still just as high fructose corn syrup tastic.

The next day was Passover.   We headed a couple hours out of the city towards Hiafa to my host’s grandparents house.  The ride was tranquil as we skirted along the beach that was filled with kite surfers, then continued past an old submarine, a roman aqua duct, sculpture garden, and oil processing plants with their many smoke stacks that look like cigarettes in the sky.  Growing up in the Catholic church we had Seder meals, where we each had a piece of matzo and some horse radish.  I had no idea the beauty in the ritual of the meal, i remembered it as a boring thing my parents used to make me go to where i ended up very hungry at the end..  I tried to follow along in English as they all took turns reading the ancient words of the story of Moses.   My favorite dish of the Seder was the symbol of the cement used to build the Egypt – a date, apricot  fig, and nut pure which was accompanied by a shredded beat salad, celery leaves, potatoes, eggs, matzo and wine.  After we feasted on sprout salad, spinach cakes, gefilte fish, stuffed squash, greens, beets, ice burger salad, matzo ball soup, tea and coconut cake with chocolate mousse!!!!  It was like Jewish Thanksgiving.

Wednesday was my first day of street performing and it was phenomenal!  I went to the outdoor art market and set up on the corner of a street.  I spun to my hearts delight and enjoyed all of the smiles i created.  The next day i met with the owner of the Juggling Cafe in Jaffa and got invited to bar tend and perform at a Bat Mitzvah.  I also went shopping at the market to embellish my costumes for DOOF, the trance festival I was performing at.  I spent the next day sewing stuff to more stuff and packing for camping.  There was plenty of beach and Jaffa street wandering for breaks between.   It was then off to the DOOF, which is the name for all trance festival in Australia.


The Travels of Cypris – Maui Wowie

We flew over the brilliant blue sea and into a land full of sugar cane and palm trees.  It had been raining in LA when I left, so I was still layered in a couple coats, pants, leg warmers.  The childhood image of being greeted with a lei was turned into the reality of lei vending machines.  I was picked up by my aunt and uncle and we went to Mama’s, a beach side fresh and local fish house.  I had my first tropical drink, umbrella included then feasted on asparagus soup, poi, lightly fried calamari steak sand, crab stuffed mahi-mahi.  I was made fun of by my post-meal cabby for having too many layers and not having flip flops yet.

I arrived to a mostly empty house and was able to set up a little nest out back in the screened hut. DJ’s began to arrive from all over theUSand soon the house was overrun with laptops and head phones.  I was feeling really jet lagged so I called it an early night while the group had a night beach adventure.

 We did our burner preparatory trip to Wal-Mart.  I was very surprised by how commercial everything is there.  I had this image ofMauias an untouched island with all business being local and full of flavor.  Which, when you go into the mountains, there are areas like this, but most of the inhabited places include lots of strip malls and chain restaurants.

We began our climb up the winding mountains.  Theses were 1.5 – 1 lane road passing through waterfalls, high cliff views of the water, and small bridges.  The horns were used only to warn other cars you were coming.  It had been raining for a few days and the streams were ballooned into raging brown rapids.

We reached theCampKeanaejust in time for the staff meeting.  I met my co-lead and jumped in as much as possible.  The rain was relentless.  Ditches were being dug to re-rout the water.  There were short hour breaks between down pours, but this was rain like I have never seen before; rhythmically pelting everything in sight, soaking you within minutes.  The beat of the down pour helped make sleeping in the bunk house easier.  I had a third level bunk that was precarious to climb into, being careful not to tip the whole bed or wobble myself off.

Gate work began at dinner, checking everyone that had been working in, getting lists submitted for entry, and parking.  The gate experience at SOURCE was a good one.  I did find that it is much much easier to be the gate keeper at a festival where you know most of the people.  I spent a lot of time asking for this and that person and radioing here and there.

I love how small our world is.  No matter how far you are away, there always will be something familiar.  I ran into a friend fromNorth Carolinathat I had not scene or heard from in years. She immediately adopted me and invited me to stay with her.  I was overwhelmed with comfort and gratitude.

The festival carried on despite the ankle deep mud.  Walking from camp to camp was a slow process of either trudging through the field or carefully picking your way across the pallet walkways.  I had a great night of fire spinning and enjoyed dancing on the OPS porch while running the fire tool inspection station.  Monday morning brought the closing ceremony.  We all stood in a circle and held hands.  We blessed the land, each other, and thanked the universe.  The scene was very moving; a native Hawaiian woman sang chants, warming our hearts with her songs.

I spent a couple days on the northshoreofMaui, realizing very early on that the waves are not to be messed with.  I had secretly asked the universe to be swooped off to a place with a pool, hot tub, and beach view, not thinking it was actually possible.  To my surprise, that is exactly where I ended up, staying as one of the few permanent residents at a time share community in Kihei. The next week was spent with new and old friends circumnavigating the island.  We camped overlooking the water, hiked through a bamboo forest to get to a400 footwater fall, stopped along the way at art galleries, ate at a top chef restaurant, visited a mostly deserted island, and went snorkeling in lava fields.

Even when you are running on the chilled out slowed down island time, it goes too quickly.  My last moments were spent gazing at the sun set, enjoying gelato, and taking in a magic show at a pirate bar.  Which, at the point, meant that I had visited a pirate bar at all of my travel stops a long the way!

Hawaiiwas a time of rejuvenation and sunshine induced tranquility.  Many thanks for all of the adventures and island love!

The Travels of Cypris – The CIty Of Angles

LA is a whirlwind!  I consider myself a pretty fast mover and shaker, but that city is on another level of life pace.  My lovely friends seem to be home maybe a total of 8 hours a day.  This includes eating, sleeping, and daily preparation time.  I did my best to keep up and had an amazing time.

My first performance was in a nifty theater inHollywoodfor, “What Is Art?”  The show was as unique as the mushrooms growing out of the dressing room ceiling.  I was billed with burlesque, magic, singing, and poetry. The show went off well and the flofins were as mesmerizing as ever!

The next week was peppered with small breaks between play functions and set construction. Argent took me on a venture to his old work place – a market near the Million Dollar Theater.  We went to see the building where Blade Runner was filmed, but they would not let us go up in the elevator seeing as it was a place of business.

Valentines Day was lady pampering focused.  Mystic took me on a venture through LA filming my spinning as we explored.  Dr. Lust and Mae met up with us for a mid day salad exchange that was right across from a micro part.  Micro park = a 10 X 10 area covered in turf, with tiny little swings and an exercise machine area on the side of the sidewalk.

I popped another naked lady spa cherry and introduced Mystic to the Korean Spa experience: multiple pools of varying degrees, hot and dry saunas and meditative healing rooms.  We hopped the subway back home to prepare for our night at the LA Art walk.

We hit the tail end of the evening and started in a studio filled with 2-d and 3-d hearts covered mustaches, gears, bees, food, collage and maps of LA. A glass of wine was enjoyed in a wooden playa car at a crazy burner studio.  We were given a tour of the shop where they had a large lazar cutting machine.  The ceiling was covered by an interactive origami pull structure was hanging from the ceiling and a suspended motion capture technology was being displayed.

I made sure to get to Marvin’s flow fest early on Saturday to help out the opening crew and open the gate. TheMissionwas packed by mid afternoon and I took my first club spinning class.  The whole experience filled me with joy as I smiled from ear to ear surrounded by my flow family.  The last class of the day was the most transformative, bringing into my life Jilly B, a play flow sister for life who shares the same philosophy as I.  Many wonderful idea exchanges were made with inspiration and admiration abound!  I even sold my first pair flofins!

The last few days were family-tastic.  Enjoying liquid breakfasts and lunches, performing at the Peepshow Menagerie, cooking for a roof-top photo shoot party, meeting David Cross in Whole Foods, Mai Thais at a pirate bar, getting the tech fan boys to loosen up a bit and play, Aladdin opening weekend, a burner pot luck in the valley, and so much more!

I shall leave you with the same thought as before; the people are what make our experiences.  It doesn’t matter where you are, how long you have known someone, or how long you shall know them.  Thank you to all of the new, old, and transient friends that colored my LA experience so wonderfully!

Spirit Flow Propagation

Cypris has started an Indiegogo Campaign!

With your help I hope to bring the art of spinning fire to Israel and Africa. I intend to stay with the people in the communities I’m teaching in.  This approach allows me to get closer to the culture which I hope will help the art of flow take hold as well as present ways for me to get involved locally.

Your assistance will help me build community, create solutions, and spread the flow.

DOOF Festival – Israel

For the last 9 years, every April, 4 days of great music has been created. A time enough for love, friendship and ideas.DOOF

Imbibe at the Hive – The Kinetic Hive – Atlanta, GA

Get your creative juices flowing with a night of art, performance, and music! Break out your favorite costume and jive while we imbibe to our hearts delight!

Great beats laid down by awesome DJs! Fire, Burlesque and Aerial acts throughout the night.

Cash Bar

The Kinetic Hive –

691 John Wesley Dobbs ave #R, Atlanta, GA 30312 ·

« Older Entries

Newer Entries »