its musicalWEBWith just a few months under their belt, the joint venture of It’s a Musical Thing and Triptastic Treasures has already made a pleasant dent in the Peterborough performance art and fashion scene. Located at 414 Water St., the two businesses quietly opened in June 2013, and have been slowly inviting Peterborough to think a little differently.

Their vision is “to contribute, collaborate, and integrate into the vibrant artistic and cultural community of Peterborough by providing a comfortable and unique gathering place where creativity, health, and social responsibility meet.”

Triptastic Treasures isn’t just a fashion store. It’s a collection of local and international designers who use sustainable materials and make one-of-a-kind pieces. The clothing and accessories feature a range of styles, including steampunk, tribal fusion, yoga clothing and active wear, and festive pieces that complement any night-on-the-town kind of outfit. The buyer can rest assured that their purchase was not made in a sweatshop somewhere, but rather by an artist who put a lot of thought and care into their product. Proprietor Susan Halle believes these clothes are wearable for all ages, and wants to raise awareness about the importance of purchasing from clothing companies who do not mass produce in sweatshops. The store also caries unique books, art, jewelry, and a few other interesting trinkets.

Connected to the store is a class and performance space called It’s a Musical Thing, which Halle runs with Ray. With the goal of creating a community of Peterborough’s diverse performance artists and instructors, It’s a Musical Thing features classes that run the gamut from yoga to fire dancing to therapeutic belly dance to drumming workshops. There’s a little something for everyone, and the best part is that a lot of the elements between the classes cross over into one another.

For example, Halle uses crystal bowls in her yoga classes to facilitate a deeply meditative experience that can be highly conducive to healing and problem solving, while the tribal fusion belly dance classes incorporate yoga and other therapeutic practices to create a process of healing and body awareness. There is a variety of music and dance classes offered, which can be used interchangeably to bolster your understanding of rhythm and movement.

All of the classes offered at It’s a Musical Thing are as unique as the clothing offered by Triptastic Treasures. Each instructor creates a fusion of artistic modalities in order to provide a unique experience for their students. For instance, Thomas Vaccaro leads the fire dancing classes, where he uses paint to create pieces of art while his students twirl around over giant sheets of paper. The end result is a visual art expression of a performance piece.

The belly dance classes take this ancient dance back to its tribal roots while fusing it with Western musical elements, such as old-time jazz and swing, as well as modern electronic music. Furthermore, the classes are about getting in touch with your body and inner core, and even incorporate trigger-reducing techniques used in post-traumatic stress disorder therapy to create a sense of grounding and balance in the students.

These classes are just a few examples of the many that are offered. There is also a wide range of yoga classes, ecstatic dance classes, and numerous music workshops. It’s a Musical Thing features a lounge with cozy pillows, and an exotic, Middle Eastern ambiance. Also found in the lounge is a collection of musical instruments both new and old with a special emphasis on the creations of Ray’s Rootworks (The Root, The Sprout and The Tonebox), which are all very special hand-made instruments that were created right on the premises.

Triptastic Treasures and It’s a Musical Thing are already in the process of expanding their community-building mission. They have plans in the works for a number of events, which will be held at a variety of Peterborough venues. There’s a vision here of creating a solid performance art scene, in which dancers, fire spinners, actors, musicians, and designers come together to create and celebrate art. Not to say that there isn’t a lot of performance art already in Peterborough; Triptastic Treasures and It’s a Musical Thing just want to fuse different camps and genres so that even more artists can work together. And that is a beautiful thing.

If you want to stop by the store or check out a class, there is information and a full class schedule available at www.itsamusicalthing.com. The therapeutic belly dance classes happen every Tuesday at 7:30pm with a discount offered to students.

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When Jasmine was a child, she could almost always been found with a notebook and pen in hand, writing away. As an adult, she has written for a variety of magazines and websites, including the art magazine Juxtapoz. She was the 2010 winner of a blogging contest put on by the publishing house JournalStone. JournalStone also published two of her short fiction stories in their horror anthologies in 2010 and 2011. When she’s not writing, Jasmine spends a good chunk of her time completing her history degree and working as a professional dance performer and instructor.