Today's dance practice was at Momo's afternoon butoh retreat on Whidbey Island where the theme was deepening the connections of love between self and others.
"Anyway, what's the purpose of our being here? Ultimately, aren't we here to link hearts?"
Kazuo Ohno, Maureen 'Momo' Freehill's sensei
En-route to meet a friend to carpool I received a phone call from another couple who were wanting to come and needed a ride. So after a unscheduled detour to pick them up, there were four of us from Seattle packed into one car, and that is where it felt the workshop of connection began. It was so beautiful to connect with friends old and new discussing the normal subjects such as work and how we all knew Momo etc. But, it was so enriching to be able to speak about butoh itself and what it meant to us, our experience with it etc... our dance had begun.
Momo has such a exquisite way of facilitating her workshops so that within a few minutes of arriving we were warming up connecting to the energy of mother earth as our first beloved connection to other. It amazes me how without words, with dance, all of the participants (most of whom I never met before) were soon feeling a deep connection to one another.
During one practice, we were turning our awareness inward, allowing the pull of the moon on the other side of the earth to empty ourselves so that we could dance the empty inner spaces. It felt so freeing to experience the connection to body in this way - after-all, according to quantum physicists we are all made up of nothing but empty space.
"The inner voices of the body want to speak to us, to inform us of the truths beneath the fixed surface of our external lives... how tender, fragile and precious is the house of belonging called the body." John O'Donohue
Today's dance practice film is of my offering at the end of the retreat - dancing the inner space of the pelvis initially and then returning to the connection to other - both mama earth and a 'tree being' that I had danced with earlier in the day in the forest outside the studio...
First, connecting through breath to 'drop-in' to the moment, there was such an inner feeling of joy to dance the space within the winged-hugging shape of the earth-bones of the pelvis... until I felt light-headed and fell to the earth to be held in her arms... until the swaying trees in the wind invited me once again rise and take hold, connecting - feeling stability from the roots dropping into the earth...
One of the highlights of the retreat was witnessing the other participants share their dances - moved how butoh enables one to express from the soul in such a deep connecting way to others. So wonderful to have Joe Arnold's variety of sacred native wooden flutes accompany us for the day - with gratitude.
Feeling so thankful for this most profound of practices that continually challenges me to dance freely and from the soul.
"No thinking, only soul." Kazuo Ohno
I am grateful to be a student of Momo's, to receive her and her sensei Kazuo Ohno's teachings and how beautiful the challenge is, to see all life as a dance...
Thank you for viewing / reading. I hope this blog may inspire you in some way.
Live music by extraordinary flutist Joe Arnold