Monday, August 1, 2011

Pittsfield Hoopla Festival Returns to Springside Park


Press contact: Stefanie Weber, or 413.281.6734

On Saturday July 30 from 10 am to 10pm, the Pittsfield City Hoopla festival will return to the public gardens of Springside Park, Pittsfield Massachusetts’ largest public park located at 874 North St, for its third year of festivities inspired by the craft, craze and creativity of the hula hoop.  Boasting a full day of hoop related classes, contests, jams, art, vending and performance, the Pittsfield City Hoopla is a unique family-friendly event that celebrates the value of the movement arts in our everyday lives and community.

In addition to free hooping workshops for all ages and abilities on the lawn with professional teaching hoop dance artists from the Boston Hoop Troop and Hooping Harmony between 12 noon-3pm there will also be more focused smaller workshops available for a fee.

Workshops with Pittsfield based movement professionals include:
10am: Openings: A Yoga Class for Entering the Hoop with Rachael Plaine of Berkshire Pure Movement and Yoga Depot
3pm Intro to HoopTap with festival maker and founder Stefanie Weber
6pm Hip Hop for the Hooper with dancer Marie Georgefils
7pm Sundown Stretch & Flow with Gillian Gorman of Radiance Yoga.

Workshops from visiting guest artists include:
11am Hoop Tutorial with Robin Rapture of Hoopium in New Hampshire
3pm Putting the Dance in Hoop Dance with Laura-Marie from Hooping Harmony in Greenfield, MA,
4pm On&Off Body Axis Flips & Twists with Lolli Hoops and Core Hooping: Navigating Between Waist and Neck with Rachel, both from the Boston Hoop Troop.

Space is limited for the above workshops and pre-registration is suggested. The cost is $10 per workshop and lower if you attend 3 or more.

Participants can begin the day by making their own hoop on site at 10am for $25 guided by Hoopla artists. Pre-registration is required and space is limited.

This year’s Hoopla will introduce some new activities for participants. ‘Yogaslacker’ Danielle Gismondi from Frog Lotus Yoga in North Adams will facilitate a slackline throughout the day. According to, slacklining is the sport of walking a small, flat nylon rope between two points. It is practiced in the backyard, on college campuses and city parks, and even 3000 feet above the ground. Some people do it for fun, others for the obvious athletic benefits, and others still for a meditative purpose, in seeking a higher state of mind. Since slacklining’s development in the late 1970s, slacklining has grown into an international craze, and is a common and popular pastime within the outdoor community. Also a part of the circus arts scene, slacklining is making it way back to the stage in more creative ways.

Artist Bridgit Noone will facilitate a table for coloring mandalas. The Mandala Project, founded by Lori Bailey Cunningham, explains a "mandala" as being from the classical Indian language of Sanskrit loosely translated to mean "circle”. “Far more than a simple shape, it represents wholeness, and can be seen as a model for the organizational structure of life itself--a cosmic diagram that reminds us of our relation to the infinite, the world that extends both beyond and within our bodies and minds”, she states. Both Navajo and Tibetan cultures are known for their colorful mandalas.

Returning again this year, David Frazier from the Vincent Hebert Arboretum will be leading walks along the trails at Springside Park for any one interested in learning more about the trees, gardens, and history of the grounds.

At 5pm the Hoopla will offer its first-ever hooping contest featuring prizes from local businesses. Sign-ups for the contests will occur through out the day and are open to all interested.

Food will be available for purchase on site and vendors will be selling handcrafted hoops and other creative items.

The grand finale of Pittsfield City Hoopla begins at 8p with an “enchanted illuminated spin extravaganza” featuring live drumming by Aimee Gelinas and her Rhythm Keepers from Pittsfield, and fire hoop and dance performances by Lita Lundeen-Setchfield, Angyl Fyre, Maria Mariposa and more.

Pittsfield City Hoopla is created by Stefanie Weber/Creatures of Habitat in partnership with Pittsfield’s Office of Cultural Development and is supported in part through funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Pittsfield Cultural Council and Greylock Federal Credit Union. Additional community supporters and sponsors include Mark Tomasi, Day Mountain Sound, The Earth Shoppe, BerkshireGirl, Elm St. Barber Shop, New Image Salon, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival Community Day, Lenox Community Center and Berkshire Dance Theater.

The 3rd annual Pittsfield City Hoopla festival will be held Saturday, July 30th, from 10am to 10pm, rain or shine. For more information visit To pre-register for a workshop email or call 413.281.6734.

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