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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

ATS BELLY DANCE & SACRED DANCES

Oddly enough, my recent TV project on SACRED DANCES is a topic in the latest issue of CIRCLE MAGAZINE in which several interesting articles appear, among which is one on ATS BELLYDANCE,which is AMERICAN TRIBAL STYLE,apparently created in the 1970's..I mention this because I am planning a TV project on NATIVE AMERICAN SACRED DANCES and also on NATIVE AMERICAN WEAPONS very soon....as a POW WOW is coming up next month in July...... ATS BELLYDANCE incorporates all the usual basic moves along with some innovations and additions too numerous to mention..... An important but bried article on GATHERINGS: POW WOW ETIQUETTE is also in this magazine issue and should be read by those who have not attended any such gatherings before or who plan to do so, even if they have previously attended, to have a reminder of things.... An interesting article on THE DANCE OF THE SEVEN VEILS is also included in this magazine which is something most people have great misconceptions about,particularly the history of this....

Thursday, June 23, 2011

'DANCE FOR THE CURE'

'DANCE FOR THE CURE' is an old TAOIST/DAOIST belief and practice for health and disease treatment, along with Diet and Herbal Ways. Those of you who have heard of 'THE DANCING WU MASTERS' the title of a popular book may have some slight inkling of what such means...... Those of you immersed in some sort of TAI CHI form or practice, stylized or free form, should realize the relation of this ANCIENT ART to DANCING(SACRED & PROFANE)....BUT....TAI CHI is NOT a dance for audience viewing because its 'content' cannot be discussed by passive viewers or observers, especially those who do not move or understand some of the 'theory' or 'classics'.... TAI CHI is a VITAL FORCE and NOT A LIFE FORCE but this distinction is better realized in the actual practice of Tai Chi and QIGONG.....

COSMIC DRUMMING

COSMIC DRUMMING is COSMIC VIBRATION & COSMIC RHYTHM.... When you beat upon a drum or some surfaceand make a sount,THE UNIVERSE RESPONDS-even to a shiwper or the whirr of wings-whether that of birds or butterflys........

IMAGE & SUBSTANCE

IMAGES will remain BRAIN VIVID long after words, terms, phrases, and numbers have been forgotten,even though teh world believes these ABSTRACTIONS, these SYMBOLS,etc. are more imporant........LIFE is, quite often, a RESPONSE to IMAGES-VISUAL, AUDITORY, SENSORY, OLFACTORY,ETC. and derived from teh FIVE SENSES and possibly the SIXTH!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

STYLE VERSUS SUBSTANCE

There are a numbe rof controversies raging everywhere over certainnotions that particular peoples hold and which have strong emotional reactions which often border on the irrational when aroused. That is, some people are willing to either kill for or over or to die for and over. We usually think of political and economic reasons but there are cultural/ethnic ones which many moderns and contemproary peoples ignore or tend to dismiss.... Three such areas recently brought to my attention are: CUISINE,BELLY DANCING(& dancing in general), & MARTIAL ARTS(especially pentjak-silat-kuntao, among others). The latter controversy comes from considering SILAT as ISLAMIC in origins and,therefore,not allowed to be taught or learned by those who are not ISLAMIC,despite the fact such has been, still is, and will be taught to 'outsiders' 'non-Islamic' peoples, and foreigners.... Many of the various tribes in some of the Islamic areas, such as, Indonesia, are not Islamic,of course. The same controversy for CUISINE comes from considering foods under specific ethnic/national identities, such as, for example, running "Italian" restaurants or manufacturing spaghetti and similar things by non-Italian companies or by companies not in Italy...The same can be said for CHINESE CUISINE or Chinese food,especially commercial convenience frozen foods...WHAT IS AUTHENTIC ABOUT IT? Hungry people who eat any of it don't really care...... NOW, comes BELLY DANCING which many consider 'ISLAMIC' despite the fact its possible origins are non-Islamic-that is, from Ancient Egypt,Mesopotamia, Crete,Greece and elswhere. Also the other misconception people have about is that the NEAR EAST is all Islamic or Arabic, except for Israel. Concerns over teh minutiae of Belly Dancing arts will not enhance its status among those dancers or people looking for 'some good exercise', 'social entertainment' or 'sensual-erotic arousal' per se as those seeking such already have closed minds. To open the doors of deeper perception, a higher emphasis is perhaps needed and higher aimsconsidered but such is not likely to happen it would seem. In Belly Dancing, style tends to surpass substance, despite 'good' intentions. The crowds and the mobs will storm, rage, yell & shout, as usual for the 'crucifixion'....so be it...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

THE 'SEARCH FOR SACRED DANCE(S)' has been also a search for 'SACRED MUSIC'

but neither have, as yet, been of the depth or of the scale really needed to arrive at what might be called, 'THE DIVINE SOURCE' for many aspects of music and dance have to be left behind or ignored or one cannot reach such a goal. The 'glamour' of both dance and music can ensnare the most ardent seeker, misdirect his aims or keep him from an experience of REALITY. In my examination of THE FOURTH WAY, which began years ago, I recall Ouspensky writing in his 'SEARCH FOR THE MIRACULOUS' finding a notice in a newspaper about a ballet titled,'TEH STRUGGLE OF THE MAGICIANS' which led him eventually to Gurdjieff.Ouspensky had returned from India and gave a series of lectures on his trips as well as writing articles on them for papers and journals. I mention this because, upon seeing a photo and an article on a Belly Dance Group and a new studio opening, I, too, have become aware of 'sacred dance & sacred music',even though I had been abroad in areas where such perhaps originated,right here and near where I live.... Due to globalization of nearly everything and electronic communication(usually superficial) as well as listening to the music Gurdjieff recorded and composed that are now available, I am now on a QUEST as a public access TV project and wish to explore other areas of personal interest along this line and similar lines. Whether or not others will look along this line of endeavor I do not knwo and where it will take me I do not know. Of course, "Going to Egypt & other lands) has long been a goal of mine but lack of funds prevents me plus huge bills accumulated from both daily and usual living weight heavily on my aims and ambitions and goals,etc. My ignorance of both music and dance,enormous as it is, as well as of art and languages and most everything else as well prevent me from making much headway along these lines....

MOVEMENTS AND SPIRITUAL EXERCISES AND 'WORK'

At the recent workshop on SACRED DANCE and Its HISTORY,a 'movement' ritual along with exercises was given. Since I was not versed in the movements and the ritual, beyond a certain level, it was really an exercise for me, and I had not done many things for exercise of late....so I allowed my body to imitate the Teacher, a Dancer and a Historian, and to become 'absorbed' into the proceedings with a group that was active, nubile, mobile, flexible, and focused.......I soon became aware of several things aside from the usual breathing needed and the patterns of weaving, bending, moving, etc. that went on in semi-darkness to various recorded music and songs.....all under the guidance of the Teacher...... In many dances and movements of special kinds, principles of Ancient Knowledge, science, are embedded and this comprises 'a special language'..We assume postures and attitudes and carry them with us and in such 'events' we often resort to these and parade them about, but usually based on our past experiences with them in our 'comfort zones' and so we do not attempt to get beyond these......or break out of them..... In this respect, my participation in all this, being the only male present, was a way to escape the automatisms of my daily life....to a newer possibility of thinking, feeling, and action..... In this environment, at this event, I allowed my body the freedom to move in the ways and directions that the Teacher, the Leader, directed and led us,rather than allow myself to 'resist' or view from the sidelines...though I did not know exactly where all this would end up.... For anyone who might have looked in at this from the outside, like casual passersby, it might have seemed to them like some kind of 'frenzy',with cavorting and frolicing, twisting and turning, jumping and singing and shoutin now and then, plus a lot of other imposed conceptions that fill such minds...... To the more imaginative, it might have seemed like ancient dances from Greece or other Pagan areas, with a spot of 'witchcraft' or Wicca or 'Gypsy' in them, and other somewhat 'new age' doings......But whatever was culled out of the past and ancient times, certainly added to the affair and raised the intensity levels for most of the participants...... BODY RESISTENCE is something most of us experience in learning new things, whether skills, sports, cooking, dancing, martial arts, or canoeing,hiking, bicycling, or walking dogs or whatever...cutting grass, hammering a nail, picking up papers and trash, or any other activity and most of us attempt to do things with the least amount of effort along the line of least resistance......the usual, ordinary way....so is it any wonder why things remain as they are? We seldom make 'real' efforts and rarely 'super-efforts' and we do not have the control of the body that we seek..the body resists, runs away from exertions, and it is this body that we have to begin everything in life with.....but we tend to ignore this fact.... So if thoughts and emotions arise in these things we need to establish connections for them to the body otherwise, our efforts evaporate and more so if we do not continue, follow up with 'correct' practice or 'right' practice, which is always uncertain and unsteady....despite claims otherwise for most people who attempt such with guidance..or direction or intensity, which individuals find hard to maintain without a leader or guide..... As this is a difficult topic to discuss as is needed, I shall defer for a time and 'recover' my thoughts and emotions and bodily memory of this event that I attended as best I can....... `