My thoughts on The Rebirth! 🦋

With a desire to be heard we continued to do and act accordingly, because we’re always told that actions speak louder than words, and it’s true. With years prepping an idea, and months putting it together the actions spoke loudly on Thursday, October 21st as La Vie Events and She. joined forces to create the first ever Rebirth Gala. Though not as we originally envisioned, it far exceeded our expectations as we used an array of art forms to create and shine a light on trauma, abuse and healing. We provided a platform to share our stories and created healing together. We stood with our friends, families, and allies to raise awareness on the rising domestic violence issues. While fundraising in support of two incredible woman’s shelters: The Denise House and The Herizon House. We took a step in the right direction and we will continue to do so each and every year with our annual Rebirth Gala. Thankful, grateful and blessed to have had so much love and support around us. Here’s to continuing to spread love and light in the world we live in.

Lakeisha Jones, La Vie Events

Exactly a week and a day ago today, I attended La Vie Events Founders: Lakeisha & Tianna’s, The Rebirth Gala. Actually, I did a little more than simply attend, I was invited to read a few of my poems from my first book Cement Covered Ink Quills & Rarities, something I am usually extremely apprehensive about.  However, when the call is echoed one must respond in a manner conducive to liget, it sounds so corny to say, however, steeped in the truth.  There is a humanitarian duty to be able to rise when advocating for extremely important social issues. This dedication to rise was exhibited in so many elegant forms during the ReBirth Gala, in the name of two organisations that strongly support survivors of domestic violence: The Denise House & Horizon House both located in Durham Region.

Lakeisha & Tianna, genuinely left no stone unturned to ensure a well-rounded gala not only were various artists of diverse mediums present – they were also BEYOND PHENOMENAL – each one of them in their own right. I do not think that it would be a fair piece if I did not introduce to you all of the human beings who made the Rebirth Gala a genuine success. 

Now, for the fun part, my review (insert pure giggle of joy)

Katrina Anastasia

Singer/Songwriter Katrina Anastasia is not only stunning and a talented artist, but she is also equally adorable (said in the most respectful tone).  For some reason, the microphone stand did not fit the microphone, which prompted Lakeisha to hold the microphone.  I was so delighted to see this beautiful act of women being there for each other.  Katrina has such a subtle yet powerful timber that I so appreciate in Singers.  I might also like to add as someone who has dabbled a little bit in singing, Katrina did not hold back and unleashed her full talent when she sang: Girls Wanna Have Fun, Wavin’ Flag as her covers and a few originals, the first being Soba, and the second entitled Far Away. Let me tell you this woman can definitely scribe lyrics as well as she can sing.

What is a gala in the absence of dancers? Dancers bring me so much joy, the manner in which they create, if you take the time to genuinely look at dancers you will see the story emerge as they move across the stage.  This evening’s dancers were: Dani, Krista & Cierra; Cierra also choreographed both the group performance and her solo as well. The power in movement is something that has left me in awe since I was a child, each one of these exquisite dancers housed clean lines and motion.  The only tool a dancer has is their body, nothing else is required to behold the purity in movement. After the lovely trifecta, Cierra took the stage with a solo performance as mentioned earlier.  If I am to be completely honest this was my favourite performance of the evening to witness. Oh, and before I forget to note, toward the end of the first choreographed piece Artist Ren (LOVE THE NAME) emerged and began to sketch a canvas while these tremendous women dance around him.  It was such a lovely collaboration, the fluidity from the movement of the dancers in partnership with an artist. MAGNIFICO!

Can we also appreciate for a moment how truly difficult it is to dance in heels!

Metamorphosis, via the tool of live art & body paint, is one that is built on pure trust, I was so delighted that Lakeisha and Tianna specifically added the segment of Ren & Aly.  Touch in art is one of the most impactful things that we can share as human beings. Ren paid such careful attention to how he painted Aly’s body.  Aly began her journey as a blank canvas that Ren was able to transform into an exquisite art piece.  I honestly do not think that body paint as an art form is given the proper respect that it deserves.  It is an art style that does not only require sensitivity but an appreciation of the canvas that is worked on. When I saw Aly at the end of the gala my jaw completely dropped, the sheer confidence and pride on her face genuinely enhanced Ren’s delicate and elegant work. 

This is the first time, I shared a portion of the stage, different acts of course with my friend Singer/Songwriter Tony Moore. Tony performed an original song entitled I Believe In You, this song is such a testament to not only belief in those who are dear to us but also as it relates to our own personal journeys and love. It is remarkable how those simple words could transform a broken human soul into an attitude that propels empowerment. Our world is riddled with beings who are so emotionally bankrupt and destitute, who perhaps may feel that there is a lack of hope and belief in the world. I Believe in You is not a foreign song to my repertoire, it is one that will forever be fastened to my iTunes over those last few years, it always sets in me in the perfect mood to embrace myself and exorcise my demons.

Founder of Keep Your Hands 2 Yourself, Karrie Lynn Dymond, gave a phenomenal talk about her experience and the tenacity it took for her to literally claw herself out of a horrific situation. The stigma attached to being a domestic abuse survivor genuinely needs to go to hell.  Women should be able to speak in absence of fear of their experiences, it is when social issues such as domestic abuse against women are dusted under the rug that NOTHING gets done.  Advocates such as Karrie Lynn who rose against their ill-treatment are humans who house so much courage in their bodies.  It takes brass balls to be able to discuss your personal experience in front of others, and even more so to emerge from the cocoon not only a butterfly but, one with a purpose to assist in the eradication of domestic violence via the tool of education. 

The youngest performance of the night was Aniyah, at the age of 11 she wrote such a beautiful poem specifically for The Rebirth.  This elegant little girl read her poem Powerful Me as her mother held the microphone, I can not imagine a prouder moment for Lakeisha. 

That night, Aniyah, stood tall and proud on her own with her work that I am sure will end up giving Lakeisha’s literary work a run for her money. (Aniyah, my wish for you as someone who started writing poetry so young is that you keep going!)

Now, for the reason that I was at The Rebirth in the first place, Lakeisha Jones.  The first time, I saw Lakeisha perform poems from her current collection Voices in her Head, had been during The Take Back The Night event that DRCC hosted back on September 23rd.  I have been reading and watching spoken verse videos for such a long time, the impact that Lakeisha imprinted onto me is something that is so pure and whole. Lakeisha gathered every bit of her pain, joy, and release inside of a collection that speaks of the testament of resilience. It was such an honour to watch her recite her poetry, the manner in which she evokes emotion that would render most powerless sets the stage not only for her tenacity but also extreme talent. Usually, it takes me some time to warm up to new poets, I was hooked on Lakeisha’s words from the first uttered syllable. 

To host an event of this magnitude under the best of circumstances is not only exhausting but also requires an INSANE amount of concentration to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.  La Vie Events did just that!

Here’s to The Rebirth organisers Lakeisha & Tianna.  Thank you for allowing me to play a small role in your evening. I will NEVER forget it!

2 thoughts on “My thoughts on The Rebirth! 🦋

  1. Not me over hear tearing up…

    Thank you Rania for putting together such a beautiful review and recap of The Rebirth Gala. We love and appreciate you and your support.

    Thank you for not only showing up and joining us in creating healing, but for continuing to spread the word and share your thoughts and takeaways from the evening.

    Love and light,

    Lakeisha Jones ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thank you so much Lakeisha for your kind words. It was EXTREMELY obvious that this was/is a labour of love for you! I felt extremely appreciative and humbled to be a part of The Rebirth!

      Much Love,

      Ran x


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