5 Rhythms Armistice Day 2018

The dance starts at 1030am this morning.

Michelle, our dance leader, halts the proceedings at 1107am and we form a large circle, holding hands, 70 odd dancers.

We hold the space in remembrance of November 11th, 1918.

The minutes tick by.

Silence.

Then an OM.

Big, huge, powerful, reverberating through the space as we keep it up for a couple of minutes.

Back into the dance.

I think about Grand Uncle Bernard Duffy, KIA on the Western Front, 11th April, 1917. My mother and her sister, his two nieces Regina and Blathin, we buried in the last year. In Kentstown Cemetery, County Meath with their parents, James and Sheila. Bernard’s sister.

I invite Bernard to the dance today. He brings along other chaps and fellows from his unit. And some Germans too. French, Turks, Americans, Canadians, ANZACs, Austrians, Russians, Belgians, Dutch, Italians and a load of others.

They hang around the edges of the mad swirling dance melee, one without bayonets, rifle butts and bullets, so unused to this kind of thing are these the shades of the dead of the Great War.

Then they join in and vanish into the life energy dancing over and over into and beyond itself on the dance floor. I can hear their smiling, see their shouts of delight, taste their joy.

Michelle excels herself again today. I said this to her last week, that she was getting better and better. Maybe it’s you that’s changing, someone remarked to me later, for the better. And maybe this is true.

Letting go of the head talk, the tyranny of being rendered into neuter-dom by the daily grind. Skye remarks to me afterwards, that “the head is a good servant but a cruel master”. Good for crossing the road to keep you safe but when you get to the other side, go back into your body.

This is one of the things the 5 Rhythms dance practice does, takes me out of my head and into the body.

We did our normal two waves of the five Rhythms today:

Flowing

Staccato

Chaos

Lyrical

Stillness

We ended somewhere around 1pm – I’d lost track of time in the bliss state the practice takes me into. Words fail for the moment to describe the transition state the practice sparks in me and the others. The intensity and depth of connection born, rises, peaks and then dissipates as we go back out into the world.

Skye remarks that the thing doesn’t flitter away off into the world, but retracts itself back within, back into the body. It opens up again when the dance is renewed the next time. Or some other transformational practice is worked on, such as singing and writing in my case.

The purpose of this blog is to start to learn how to articulate what is happening during this magical practice for me and my fellow dancers, led by Michelle and helped today by Steve and Vanessa, two awesome spirit connected musicians.

I started my 5 Rhythms journey in early January 2017, almost two years ago as I write this. With Michelle and Radiance Dance. The depth of the profound change this practice is having on my life I’m only now starting to appreciate.

So I write this blog as a record of my journey into the Dance, both in practice and from the teachings of the late Gabrielle Roth, our founder.

I will also be writing about my renewed singing practice, next lesson tomorrow night at the The Artist Studio in Randwick.

Plus the latest episode in my writing journey, as we go into the third week of the six week Genre Short Story course from the Writer’s Studio in Bronte.

Sydney in late Spring, the summer coming on now relentlessly, blessed days of sunshine on the coast, city of so much spirit and learning.

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