Marita Kennedy-Castro Fire Dancer

Artist * Heartist * Facilitator * Visionary * Performer


I have been studying dance since I was a young girl, in love with the freedom and healing experienced by the embodiment of rhythm and fluid motion. I was born in the United States into a family of mixed background with healthy doses of both Irish and Sicilian.
As a young girl I dreamt of doing ballet until I could fly, but it was in my first West African dance class, in 1999, that I really felt the the air under my feet.

I was enraptured with the movements and overcome with gratitude for the way these traditions honor our interconnection to the rhythms of nature and one another, through celebration of life’s cycles and seasons. Something that is intrinsic to many traditional dance forms, so often goes forgotten in American culture. Up until that point I had not experienced it in shared community.

Since ’99, I’ve studied under master teachers from Guinea, Ghana, Senegal, Mali, Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Congo, with a focus in Guinea dance. I’ve remained a devoted student of this form, with respect to the many incredible cultural ambassadors of Guinea who are my teachers. They have captured my heart and inspired me so greatly. Especially my teacher, Youssouf Koumbassa, from whom I received the blessing and encouragement to teach and perform.

I share my love for this cultural dance & music with my community to help build appreciation, interest and understanding. I position myself not as an expert, but as a facilitator and a healing agent, a bridge. Together with a committed crew of drummers, we’ve been able to develop an ever-growing community base with which to host master dance and drum teachers from West Africa.

In January 2015 we were blessed to be joined by master village drummer Namory Keita from Sangbarala, Guinea. Namory accompanies weekly dance classes, and teaches drumming in Portland and Kittery. He travels to teach and perform around the country and beyond.

In 2015 we formed the New Moon Ensemble – West African Drum & Dance to expand horizons, inspire international study and share our love for cultural exchange. Many of the same talented crew of dancers and drummers I’ve worked with for a decade are a core part of this ensemble. Our intention is to bring healing across cultures and to build community. We offer private and public workshops, residencies, choreographed productions and modern community rituals for weddings, graduations, baby blessings, ceremonies and occasions of all kinds.

I encourage anyone who’s interested in West African dance to immerse themselves in the traditions, at the source. To add motivation, we host master teachers to Maine each year. Together with my friend and colleague Elizabeth Fowler, we’ve brought in Brigitte Ndikum-Nyada, from Cameroon, Theo Martey from Ghana, and from Guinea: Youssouf Koumbassa, Abdoulaye Sylla, Sidiki SyllaIsmael BangouraSeny DaffeSayon Camara, Ismael Kouyate, and Namory Keita.

I received my Bachelor of Arts from Goddard College with a major in Dance & Performance Art for Healing & Social Change. I am passionate about broadening multi-cultural awareness and appreciation, as well as avenues to healing through the arts.

Pia Louise Capaldi- belly dancer, fortune teller

Nationally known Spiritual Mentor, Shamanic Guide and Sacred Dance Artist, Pia Louise Capaldi has dedicated her life's pursuit to the connection of the physical, mental and spiritual elements of the human and animal experience.


Since becoming aware of her spiritual truths at a very young age, Pia devoted much of her time to building a relationship with the natural world; rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing injured and abandoned New England wildlife, while studying and recreating their unique ecosystems and habitats. Pia's shamanic practice is inspired by her study of the Andean (Q'ero) Tradition of Shamanic Energy Medicine, her extensive knowledge of animal medicine and her gift of clairvoyance. As a professionally touring sacred dance artist, Pia also incorporates her own original practice of Shamanic Movement, using moving meditation and embodiment practices to remove trauma and heavy energy from the physical body and auric field. Pia's vision is to help others cultivate a healthy, safe spiritual awareness and personal practice rooted directly in the heart. It is her belief that through personal empowerment and the nurturing of the body, mind and spirit, one can reach a state of deep centeredness that can access profound personal clarity needed to manifest life goals, dreams and desires.

Although she is primarily based out of New England, Pia has been a featured performer, intuitive guide, artistic collaborator and creative workshop facilitator in events throughout the United States.Nationally known Spiritual Mentor, Shamanic Guide and Sacred Dance Artist, Pia Louise Capaldi has dedicated her life's pursuit to the connection of the physical, mental and spiritual elements of the human and animal experience.

Pia holds a BA from the University of Southern Maine in Art and Art History.

Dylan Verner- Director- Videographer- Writer- Photographer-

As an artist, as a husband and a father, as a musician and friend I get a chance to see the world through many eyes. I am thankful that photography has unified them into a vision of worthy sentiment. Photography has allowed me to offer that perspective to my friends, family and hopefully is inviting enough for you to become a part of that - Friends and Family. Maybe it's a bit of a need to adventure and see new horizons, maybe it's a touch of the archivist's dream, maybe it's my need for a rich and multi-faceted perspective on life that has driven my desire to photograph weddings, landscapes, portraits, photojournalism, sports, families, music, children and performance artists. Each of them a part of who I am. Each one a little window into my reality. To preserve that moment in time - in history - is important to me and is the driving force of my pursuits. We are fleeting as is that golden moment, help me to see yours.


Amanda Clark - Dancer

This cheeky broad, Amandaconda, had her Portland burlesque debut as Mistress Scarlett of The Damsels in Burlesque, in the steamy summer of 2006. She grew into a performance artist known as Rosie Rimjob, one of the founding members of The Dirty Dishes Burlesque Revue(2009-12). As part of the Revue she collaborated to organize variety burlesque shows and community events. From there, she independently curated and hosted two sultry, bi-monthly burlesque series.

Rosie Rimjob’s Saturday Night Burlesque Affair, at The Oak & The Ax in Biddeford, ME, took place during the summer of 2013. It was a show series of burlesque, circus and an array of unique talents. During 2014, she collaborated with Will Ethrige to organize PAST PRESENT FUTURE, utilizing a number of venues in Portland, ME. The series provided a space for artists to create performances around the influential concepts of time that’s gone by, how it feels to acknowledge the present and what will happen to us in the future.

Over the years, Rosie grew weary of rimming expectations and put herself to rest... Only to be born of the East End's soft, ocean foam as Amandaconda. Amandaconda has organized radical events to stir our social and political atmosphere. She worked with Étaín Boutique to plan Dispatch Magazine’s 2016 lingerie show, Impersonating a Body, by coaching and organizing the models. Most recently, Amandaconda worked to put together Naked People Reading at SPACE Gallery, for inauguration night. A sea of naked bodies overtook the stage, to share radical text, and bare their sex to convey thoughts and hopes for the next four years. Amandaconda can be seen looking cozy, cruising down Congress Street, contemplating her latest calling: to reinvent the Bond Girl. We've seen them all, the femme fatale, the sacrificial lamb, the love interest... Watch out Portland, Portland, Maine. This Violent Femme is going to take you around the world.

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