Dance has become my spiritual practice, the food for my soul, the instrument, with which I can communicate on all levels, the tool to open my awareness beyond the ordinary perception. Enabling me to see and hear, connect and become one with that which moves through all of life.
Learning Shakuhachi was the big lesson for this life. I again learned the feeling of connection to the earth. Watching, listening, feeling the breath and then the sound and then the silence. Shakuhachi is a type of Zen and it follows the ancient Japanese tradition of Ma, sound and silence, movement and stillness, object and space and it is clearly seen in the traditional brush painting of black paint and white background.
The 2020 dance performance, Equinox: Moment of Balance occurred at precisely the same time all over the globe. It took place at the moment of the September Equinox, when the sun crosses the equator, when the length of daylight and the length of nighttime are equal and balanced…it was such a lovely experience to feel embodied unity with almost 100 dancers at one exact moment all together.
When I reflect on my lifelong dedication to Sacred Dance, I see that all along I have been motivated by the longing to worship with others in a way which strengthens community, welcomes the body, and honours women and the earth. The traditional circle dances I’ve been researching for 35 years have been the golden thread guiding me on this journey. The dances represent a living lineage of indigenous European wisdom, in harmony with that of non-European peoples, and the values they embody are exactly the values we need to rekindle now, as we face a critical crossroads in human history.
Tagged with: Circle dance
, folk dance
, Laura Shannon
, Sacred dance
Posted in Circle Dance
, folk dance
, moving meditation
, Religious dance
, Sacred Dance
, Sacred Dance Guild Journal
, World Dance
Sacred dance is not just about feeling blissed out and flying into transcendent light though it certainly has that dimension. It is about doing the real work of radical embodiment, where you feel yourself as the marriage of spirit and matter, the marriage of the unknown with the known—your divine self and your shadow, all at once.
It is strange to look back at my journey with sacred dance and see how what seemed to be a random set of circumstances now look like inevitable steps that have taken me where I am now.
For me, the central passion to create all art is quite simply to form a channel for the “sweet honey in the rock”, the flow between the Divine and the self. It has always been my central spiritual practice.
These kinesthetic motifs were innate to a life that once placed an ear close to the ground and lifted eyes upward to read the signs and signals of nature. They satisfy the body’s longing for movement that is pure, joyous, and essential
Not only was I learning new dance movements and having a transcendent experience, but also within the movement was information, things I did not consciously know before. I didn’t understand what was happening, but I knew something profound was unfolding, so I surrendered to it.
My interest was in how movement/dance could be applied to our personal, interpersonal and group issues, and to a process of restoration. The central principle of my work was based on the application of metaphors in order to use movement/dance to process unconscious and conflicted material into higher degrees of consciousness and creative expression.
Amidst all the mixed emotions and feelings, there was a light that kept me going. I feel that it is a sacred bond between our being and our inner calling to dance, to rejoice in moving in our own colors and cadences, to flow through life with many reminders from our sacred dancing moments. These are the moments when we are truly ourselves, and that preciousness speaks through all cultures, ethnicities, genders and abilities.