Mara Alper

  1. Sacred traditions of the Bali Hindu culture are revealed with evocative images, words, music and sounds. Balinese ceremonies for fire, water, and air fill this poetic experimental documentary.

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  2. Water is sacred in Bali. It is essential to all the ceremonies that grace everyday life on this Indonesian island. This poetic documentary offers rituals and music of traditional Bali Hindu culture that endure amidst modernity.

    We enter the beauty of Bali without a word, witness the connection to water that transcends the practical. Water is sacred in Bali, not taken for granted. It graces every offering and ceremony, purifies each prayer. Sensual, poetic rhythms and images layered with music, chanting and natural sounds reveal rich Bali Hindu traditions that endure amidst modernity. Completed 2015.

    Mara Alper is an award-winning media artist with work screened nationally and internationally. She is an Associate Professor at Ithaca College, NY, where she teaches video production and courses about water issues. See more video art and documentaries at

    MEDIA ARTIST HIGHLIGHTS/Screenings/Broadcasts
    Museum of Modern Art/NYC, Kampo Museum/Kyoto, Japan, Institute of Contemporary Art/London, Sadho Poetry Film Fest/Delhi, India, Social Change Film Fest/Bali, Indonesia, Museum of Fine Arts/Boston, PBS/WNET "Independent Focus”, The Learning Channel-- "The Independents: Through Her Eyes,” Dallas Museum of Fine Art, Folkwang Museum/Düsseldorf, KANAL-4 Germany, Video Dance Festival/Paris, Malta, Brooklyn Academy of Music/Rose Cinema, PBS/KEDT-TV/Corpus Christi, TX, Cinema Wixarika/Guadalajara, Mexico, Walker Art Center/Minneapolis, Zebra Poetry Festival/Berlin, Berliner Sommerfest der Literaturen Triangle Television/Auckland, New Zealand, Dance Theater Workshop/NYC, Westbeth Gallery/NYC

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  3. The poet Lenelle N. Moise submerges herself in her mother’s passion for water in this surreal visual poem. Fluid imagery and unique juxtapositions create a haunting reverie about the influence of unseen forces, diaspora and the Haitian sea goddess Erzulie. Ms. Moise’s powerful voice and performance draw the audience into her vivid recollections.

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    Lenelle N. Moise: Poet & Performer
    Hank Roberts: Cello
    Mara Alper: Director - Editor - Animator
    Rebecca Reagan Razzall: Co-Producer - Camera
    Donna Lovas: Co-Producer - Lighting Asst.

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  4. A visual poem about expression and repression in the life of a woman whose spirit thrives on sacred dance, though her daily life is spent in the business world. It is a dream piece, without dialogue, the fantasy of a powerful spirit dancer conjuring joy into solemn lives and creating a transformation. She maintains her sense of dignity and inner strength despite a world that denies it.

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    Mara Alper: Writer - Producer - Director
    Pat Hall: Dancer - Choreographer
    David Pleasant: Drummer
    Charlie Morrow: Sound Design
    Brooke Maroldi: Editor

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  5. The art and culture of one of the most intact original cultures in Mexico. The visionary art and community life of the Huichol (WE-chol) are explored in this documentary short. Isabel Jordan explains the symbolism and techniques used to make the intricate yarn paintings and beaded works. Also available in bilingual Spanish-English version.

    More information at

    Mara Alper: Writer-Producer-Director
    Isabel Jordan: Co-Producer, Huichol Advocate
    Editors: Alexis Sexauer, Mara Alper
    Music: Son de Madera, Jose Bautiste

    Filmed in Mexico in San Andres Cohamiata, Zitacua and Tepic

    Dedicated to Isabel Jordan

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Mara Alper

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Video Art + Documentaries

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