Sunshine and sparkle for a significant birthday

A ‘great mob’ of friends gathered beside a sparkling Sydney harbour in early November to help Eileen Kramer celebrate 108 years of creativity and comradeship.

This beautiful photo by the Sydney Morning Herald’s Edwina Pickles caught the mood perfectly. Read Angus Thompson’s story here.

Those assembled were treated to a performance by Eileen herself, as well as a screening of two films made by Eileen and collaborator Sue Healey: 2021’s The God Tree, and a preview of their latest work, Variations on a Waterlily. Plus a new version of what has become a bit of a tradition at Eileen’s birthday parties – the ‘Kiss of Fire’ dance tribute, with choreography by Anca Frankenhaeuser.

Check out this lovely record of the day by friend and cinematographer Richard Corfield.

It turns out 108 is no ordinary number: Anca’s research turned up some significant facts:

The distance between earth and the sun is 108 times the diameter of the sun. The distance between earth and the moon is 108 times the diameter of the moon.
The diameter of the sun is 108 times the diameter of earth.

There are 108 traditional Indian dance forms.

The Sanskrit Alphabet has 54 letters and each has a masculine and feminine form (Shiva and Shakti); 54 x 2 = 108.

Many Hindu and Buddhist temples have 108 steps.

In Buddhism, there are said to be 108 earthly desires in mortals, 108 lies humans tell and 108 human delusions.

In Japan, at the end of a year, a bell is chimed 108 times in Buddhist temples to finish the old year and welcome the new one.  Each ring represents one of the 108 earthly temptations a person must overcome to achieve nirvana.

108 is a ‘Harshad’ number, which is divisible by the sum of its digits. ‘Harshad’ in Sanskrit means ‘joy-giver.’

“And a joy-giver is what you are for all of us, Eileen.”

Photos by Eileen’s friend and benefactor Tobi Wilkinson.

And special thanks to Bangarra Dance Theatre for the venue – such a glorious space!

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