Saturday, July 9, 2016
The Dr. Phillips Center of the Performing Arts had a sold out house for the Pulse victims concert titled "Beautiful Together". I sat in the isle on my artist stool so I didn't have to worry about sitting in a sold out seat. With minutes to go before the show, Mayor Buddy Dyer and his entourage sat center stage. From my vantage point, I had a great view of the sign interpreter. I couldn't see huge chorus but I had sketched them earlier during the rehearsal.
Once again, white flower pedals fell from the rafters as names were read for the 49 victims of the terrorist attack at Pulse. The emotional response was just as heightened on the second viewing. This time more pedals fell in a constant cascading stream set to "Lord of the Dance", by Sydney Carter . A poet named Fredy Ruiz came out, and recited a poem by Maya Angelou titled "And Still I Rise". It was a magical moment when words written 40 years ago seemed to perfectly address the tragedy and how we all must rise up despite the loss.
The ballet was still lyrical and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and chorus lifted every soul. The audience response completed the magic of the evening. Everyone was hungry for any message of hope and the best way to express that longing is through the arts. Orlando has an incredibly vibrant arts community and on this evening 50 plus organizations came to get to help Orlando heal.If you missed this powerful evening, it is worth seeing on You Tube.