Posts Tagged ‘dance’

Writing about spirituality is tough. Writing about dance is tougher. A few years ago when I first started this project, I thought I might help myself to make sense of all that I was feeling and thinking by creating mind maps. In retrospect, I’m not sure that “making sense” is what these mind maps did for me. Still, it’s a joy to find these again. They’re like a gift from a former self.

Here are a few vintage maps from my voyage into dance, circa 2009.

October 15 and 16    7 Fraser Ave, Studio 12    Butoh workshop and performance with Maureen Freehill  part of Your Life Your Story Your Dance: An Embodied Arts Series

What is butoh, and who is Momo? Read an interview with Maureen Freehill about Butoh here.

Your life is a creation.

You tell the story.

You are the hero. 

The story is up to you.

In this workshop, we honour your life as a hero’s journey with visual art, written and spoken word, movement, and dance.

We will explore life’s big questions:

Where did I come from and where am I going?

What are my current gifts and challenges?

How do these gifts and challenges occur in my

  • body
  • mind
  • heart and emotions
  • spirit

For what am I willing to take a stand? For what am I willing to sacrifice my life?

With these questions in mind, we will be guided through a cyclical process of visual art (painting and drawing), writing, dialogue, and movement.

Visual art will inspire writing and dialogue. The dialogue will inspire a written “score” or plan for a dance. The dance will inspire further visual art, and thus, the cycle continues. As we create these multi-layered self portraits, we will explore the relationship between body, feeling, and imagination as we cycle through movement, drawing, and dialogue throughout the day. As a result each of us will create a richly textured, multifaceted self-portrait including visual art, writing, and dance.

Maureen Freehill will also share how she uses this creative process cycle for her dance piece, “Hitobashira,” which she continues to create as a living work.

Participants of the October 15th workshop will be invited to perform their work together on Sunday, October 16 at 7 pm at 7 Fraser, Studio 12. (Performing optional.) Participants who chose to perform should be available for rehearsal on Sunday afternoon between 1 and 4 pm.

Dance or yoga attire is suitable. Bring journals, writing implements, water bottles. Light vegetarian lunch is provided.

This dance is for any BODY. Novices and experts and anyone in between: all are welcome.

For registration contact Patricia @ playthink . com
$90-105 sliding scale

416.799.6750

Read more about Your Life Your Story Your Dance workshops on Oct. 8 here.

each moment
healing wholing holy
amongst the chaos
the hurt
the pollution
the light arises
the light arrives
to greet the dark
they dance and play together
all is as it is
all as it needs to be
a prayer for all to see
you, me as family
water is life
soil is life
healing wholing holy

P. Renee Buerger


When I think of all that damage we have done to the oceans and to our planet, I’m tempted sink into apathy,  paralyzed by guilt. Connecting with others, with my teacher Momo by Skype conference in the morning, and then with my dancing friend Renee in the afternoon, helped me today to shake me out of such paralysis. Alone I am fearful and ashamed. In community we grow bigger, we grow stronger, we are brave, we can even find joy.

Feeling the weight of a wounded world heavy in our hearts, Renee and I danced our way to Buck Creek in Springfield, Ohio  to offer our prayers for the healing of the water that flows to the wounded sea.

Though this is serious work, Renee and I release some seriously playful spirits in each other. We dance and laugh and sing, and we are serious about praying for the planet. In our dance, and in our spontaneous spoken wordplay, we remembered that we are the ones who will save us.  In our play everything became a sign that we are the ones. We danced to the holiness in the flowers. We saw sacred light in the faces of passersby. We witnessed holiness in the litter we picked up from the water.  We remembered that we are the ones upon whom everything depends.

music: Mogwai

We may be the ones, but we’re not the only ones. As we danced, each person we saw became the one. This includes the Springfield police officer (flanked by two cruisers and a paddy wagon) who stopped and asked us to move away from the water.

I’m sorry.
Please forgive me.
I love you.
Thank you.

Thank you to Momo Butoh who shared this mantra and her inspiration with with me. Visit her blog here: Maureen ‘Momo’ Freehill

Playing small is a bad habit, one that I wanted to explore with my friend and fellow arts encourager Tricia Postle at Majlis Multidisciplinary Arts. Majlis  is an open air performance space nestled between two industrial buildings in what appears to have been a former alley (or lane way as they call them here in Toronto).

From the Majlis Arts website:

Majlis means a place where people sit….. listening to poetry or music, discussing ideas or politics, watching dance, or some combination of the above.

Majlis Multidisciplinary Arts is a crossroads culture arts incubator, where audiences and artists come together for presentations with ties to the traditions of salon, majlis, mehfil and baithak. We encourage the growth and development of the arts through education, presentation and discussion.

In other words, the Majlis is no place to hide out and play small.  Tricia’s vision for creating a beautiful space (basically from nothing) where artists from diverse disciplines, styles, genres and might converse, mix it up, and create performance otherwise not possible seems huge to me. So I’ve chosen to hang out with Tricia for a bit, and to help out in my very small way to prepare for another season of Majlis.

My dance today explores my tendency to play small.  I wanted to look more closely at the pay offs: whether to protect (with bubble wrap), to hide (behind matters of money), or to insulate (in the itchy acky fiberglass). Look for the majestic Tricia watering, encouraging little growing things, like me in her garden to grow up and play big.

Music: Chris Joss

Thank you to my teacher and coach Maureen “Momo Butoh” Freehill for this challenge.

If you haven’t read Harold and the Purple Crayon in a while, rush out and get a copy, or look at the animated version here.

Now it’s your turn. Grab hold of a crayon, either real or imaginary. Any color will do. Dance as if you had the power to create something, anything with your crayon. It doesn’t matter that no one else can see your creations. Just create. Remember you are the creator, and as creator you can make anything you please: a house that you can walk into, forests you can explore, people to play with, feasts to eat, beasts to chase, worlds to explore. Create an adventure, a journey, a quest. Come home to rest, only if you wish.

it was a musical thing

Posted: February 5, 2010 in Uncategorized
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