Saturday, December 27, 2008

fly girl

sometimes when i dance
i feel like i'm flying
like if i take another leap
i'll defy gravity one more time
bite off a bit of cloud
leave my swirling trail of joy
in the sky and stir up a nebula
making new stars
with my finger tips
threading new paths across the globe
connecting hearts
one smile at a time
that light under my feet
feeds the movement
i spin i dive i thrive
on pleasure pools
and too the lessons along the way
we journeying we crying
we growing we loving
we dancing all the while
i do believe
that a dancing body
is the living body

what is it this time? i don't know myself. I find it amazing the number things i could talk to you about. is it about dance? is it about christmas or kwanzaa or love or lovers or dreams? is it about anything relevant to your life. if i had to pull something off the top of my head it would be about this: movement.

what about movement today? nevermind the dc movement scene, let's journey back to india nearly 3 years ago when i found myself amidst a crowd of beautifully rowdy men who challenged themselves and each other one by one to dance with me. i danced for some long period of time, without adequate water and i thought i might pass out right there on the dirt road in the middle of bangalore, but i kept on. and finally, just when even spirit had had enough of me, i said to myself "ok, last one." and he came. younger than all the other men, with a fiery, spastic dance that was akin to a fire cracker going off in a contained space. he bobbled his head. he did back flips across the circle. he loomed into my face with his own face and we synced some kinda way until there was no time and no space--just us. he could have kept going for another hour i'm sure, but i had used up the little reserve of water and my partner thought it best we find food and hydration fast. so i broke the circle, even though i wanted to stay dancing. but the people weren't done with me yet. they followed me in a procession. some grabbed my hands, some bowed. i said give thanks to them all. yeah, i felt for a moment like the guru, and i am, but in that moment i was new to my powers.

but what is also so pivotal about that moment was that it's when i realized my life mission: i want to dance with as many people on the planet as possible. plain and simple, and without any limitations or parameters. i feel that each moment, each interaction with another human being is an infinite portal of creative exchange. i believe any dance you do with me is unique and beautiful and that's all that matters, really, is what we do together now. my life is one of constant communion with the omnisacredness of life. come dance with me...the more the dance, the more the life!

(photo is binah @ the gulf coast of mexico, somewhere in louisianna, july 2006)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Love Dance

sometimes if you move for love, it makes the dance bigger. i mean, like dancing because of love, whether for yourself or for someone else, dancing for love only generates more love. i experimented with this love dance last nite. some really beautiful afro-peruvian music was on the ipod and i made out like i was a whole other person from some other country. not like i really ever claim america as an identity anyway...but for this new dance i was consciously someone Else. Else was like a flower blooming in the light of the full moon, undisturbed by crickets or branches i couldn't see underfoot. i was Else, and she didn't care about a thing except being inside the music. the voices in the music floated in and around my body. causing me to sway and rock. my hips plunged into the peripheries of my known parameters, pushing the limits of space, making the boundaries seem unimportant. it was not a dance of might, but one of curiosity. how many ways could i switch my hips, how long could i hold my balance with one foot in my hand and the other spinning on the ball of the foot.

the lighting was low and the shadows loomed on the walls. i caught myself, delicate as she was, a dense cut-out of darkness mirroring me and expanding my body to the ceiling. what if i was really that tall, i wondered, where then would my shadow go? i followed the line of my body on the wall, seeing where it rippled with the percussion in the music. my shadow, unlike me, was unstoppable. She leaped over the door knob, the molding of the door, the dresser, and even spilled onto the carpet without interfering with the dance.

i spun around a lot, finding something extremely invigorating about the wind of my lapa enhancing my momentum. Spinning is one of my favorite things to do, seeing fixed things become mobile makes the world more bearable. a new friend of mine, who first saw me dancing OSA in Chinatown a few months ago, admitted reluctantly that he thought i might be "a lil crazy". i laughed and told him no worries, in fact, i told him that i think everyone else is crazy for not dancing. he asked why, and i told him, that movement makes sense to me because the earth, the planets, the galaxies are all moving, even the sun erupts. all of nature moves, the clouds rain, the ocean waves the flowers blossom. Everything in nature moves, that's why we have this phenomenon called Life. Life, as it happens, depends on movement. humans, like us, are no less connected to all these other life forces, and as such--we must move too! the more we move, the more we cleanse, the more we heal, the happier we are.

i told him that to me, it's crazy to see masses of other living beings not dancing, or rather, moving through life with such low frequencies of movement. within all of us is an infinite range of motion, and we need each frequency for life. imagine if the ocean only expressed herself in low tide. this mono-frequency of ocean movement would mean we wouldn't benefit from high tide. can you imagine how this would effect fisherpeople, surfers, boaters? everyone depends on the ocean to express multiple frequencies of movement.

so too does the earth, does the whole world's constant vibration depend on the positive, diverse, expanding frequencies of its inhabitants. the next time you find yourself in your body, ponder this: how much movement have i contributed to this life, to this world?

(hint: there's no such thing as "too much" movement!)

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Go forth my beloved humans! Dance until your sweat showers you, laugh until your belly aches, and move every part in your body as if each discovery of a new muscle is a life-altering, epiphany from God! Journey deep into the crevices of your very life and express the movement that comes from there. Those delicate, subtle, but all the while essential moments that piece together the critical beat of the heart, the persevering pulse of the blood. Move with these forces and discover a new part of yourself, for with each moment is a brand new life. This energy, this dynamic and inevitable energy is how we all give birth to ourselves every moment of our lives. This is why the dance is so vital to exploring and expressing ones most intimate awakenings, even if it is only for the Self to experience.

No one can do your dance but you! That's why it's YOURS! This dance, this movement is so amazing, so fresh, so infinite, and soooo YOURS! I cannot do your dance. Your mama cannot do your dance. Only you can do your dance. People can teach how to perfect other people's dances, but the movement that comes from your body is all yours. Claim it as such. Love it! Celebrate it! You are the dance you want to experience in this world! Never doubt that the movement coming out of your miraculous body is valid, is important, is beautiful, is powerful. Imagine how much we could do for our world if everyone believed in his or her dance?

Place your hand over your heart, feel the vibration of your own body sending healing energy into the earth or the air around you. Fall in love with your dancing Self. Know what it is to be elated with your own body. This love is unconditional, it doesn't matter the size of your jeans or the alternate rhythm of your feet--whatever you do you do! you don't like how you look, close your eyes! you don't like how the clothes fit when you dance--take them off! Whatever your blockage, whatever your excuse, release it, the movement is moving!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dance Guru

I've been called many things, and I am always brainstorming new names for my art, for my works, for myself. I am always unimpressed with the usual names like "founder," or "director." Instead I wanna be "Host of the Galaxy" or "Dance Magician"...but then I worry if I'd be expected to do magic tricks. Some people really think I am doing magic with my body, unknowable feats and rhythmic journeys of spine and pelvis. I, of course, am "just dancing." Sometimes I write the thoughts down that come to me in between the movements. Deep philosophical ponderings that one might expand on over tea or something with other get the picture!

Today's thoughts came after I took myself to a new OSA spot, the Freer Gallery of Art on the Mall. I'd never been there before and it was rainy, cold, and I was under dressed, as usual (I don't like clothes or shoes!) The place was quiet with dim lights. I wandered around looking at all the "art" pilfered from indigenous peoples all over the world until I found a big enough room to dream, dance, and write.

There is something refreshing about light.
It opens up a space, gives the illusion of more space.
Space is like the breath, the more the better.
Big vast luminous space is illuminated by light.
Big windows let lots of sunshine inside.
Bigness Vastness Expansion
Love expands like light.
The heart grows bigger with compassion.
What is forgiveness?
Is it like opening the shutters or the blinds
in a place that's been in darkness too long?
What is acceptance?
Is it like embracing the shadows
that loom even in the abundance of light?
So much light. So much space.
Why be cramped up anywhere, ever?

Shoes feel like shackles
to me
confining constricting
prohibiting movement

Happy feet love being free
to dance wherever
they want to be!

I am spatially oriented. When I feel there's lots of space. I feel good. I feel like dancing, like spinning, like imagining new things. Today, I surrounded myself with lots of art and space. First stop before the Freer Gallery was the National Museum of African Art. It's one of my top five OSA spots in Washington, DC. I stared at the same art for nearly two hours, noticing all it's nuances. I didn't even look at the name or artist info because I didn't want to be biased. Every now and then, I would stretch my back and my arms. In the process of doing that a grand idea came for me for a movement presentation I have to make to some middle schoolers next week. But anyway...these are more of my raw genius rantings:

Sometimes if you stare at something long enough, you will begin to see it. Really. It's depth, its texture, its luminosity. You will see where it curves and where it also bends and varies. You will see its patterns and symmetry, embedded even in the folds of asymmetry. When you stare long enough you will see what is flat and stable and what too has spilled on the floor and splattered on the ceiling, but with deliberate placement of some design all the same.

When I had found my spot at the Freer, I took my shoes off and started reaching up and out and over into the thickness of empty space around me. I spun in slow motion a few times, trying to catch my reflection in the glass panes protecting ancient Japanese screens. The lighting was too dim for me to see my reflection and so I stopped looking for myself. I found I was content just moving my body.

I started experimenting with trying to spell my first name with my arm, and then my head, and then my shoulder, and then my foot. Then I thought to try spelling my first name with my right arm and my last name with my left leg--a great brain challenge for sure! While twisting and contorting in the empty gallery room, lots of thoughts swam through me. I started thinking about how I am often confronted with the common objection to dancing: "I don't dance/I don't know how to dance/I don't like dancing." I think it's impossible to not know how to dance; you don't know how you're breathing, but you find yourself breathing all the time. A thought popped up: "The Movement is Inevitable." After dancing for a while longer, I sat down and wrote this:

The Movement is Inevitable
the dance is already happening internally,
and has always been happening there, if no where else
The blood dances through your heart and veins
The oxygen leaps through your blood,
All the movement within you gives birth
to the life you are living on the outside
The body is the container of an ancient
magical dance--and what, what are you
gonna do with it?
The dance belongs to all of us, even you.

(A Kamoro woman from East Indoneasia prepares for a ritual dance, Bali, May 2006)