We have come to be danced~

Hello and warm greetings,

It amazes me that we are already in the month of May, 2012… but here we are. Happy (day after) May Day everyone!

Last month I attended the Maimouna Keita School of African Dance, Annual Dance Conference in NYC. It was such a blast! I want to share with you a snippet of how much fun was had in these huge classes, which were held in a gymnasium at Baruch College. I took a short video clip to capture a few fantastic dancers during “solo circle” at the end of a class.

For those of you who danced with me in Portland in April, you will recognize some of these moves ~ They are dancing Sorsornet!

For the month of May we will be dancing to the rhythm Manjiani (pronounced Mahn-jAh-nee) ~ a rhythm and dance from the Malinké people of Guinea and Mali, originally created as a rite of passage for young women. It is danced in present day Guinea, by both men and women at wedding celebrations and other festivities. Get ready for more new moves, fresh from La Guinea!

Lastly, I wanted to share this poem with you by Jewel Mathieson, which speaks to my heart and soul, and I hope will be inspiring to you as well.

We Have Come to Be Danced

We have come to be danced
Not the pretty dance
Not the pretty pretty, pick me, pick me dance
But the claw our way back into the belly
Of the sacred, sensual animal dance
The unhinged, unplugged, cat is out of its box dance
The holding the precious moment in the palms
Of our hands and feet dance.

We have come to be danced
Not the jiffy booby, shake your booty for him dance
But the wring the sadness from our skin dance
The blow the chip off our shoulder dance.
The slap the apology from our posture dance.

We have come to be danced
Not the monkey see, monkey do dance
One two dance like you
One two three, dance like me dance
but the grave robber, tomb stalker
Tearing scabs and scars open dance
The rub the rhythm raw against our soul dance.

We have come to be danced
Not the nice, invisible, self-conscious shuffle
But the matted hair flying, voodoo mama
Shaman shakin’ ancient bones dance
The strip us from our casings, return our wings
Sharpen our claws and tongues dance
The shed dead cells and slip into
The luminous skin of love dance.

We have come to be danced
Not the hold our breath and wallow in the shallow end of the floor dance
But the meeting of the trinity, the body breath and beat dance
The shout hallelujah from the top of our thighs dance
The mother may I?
Yes you may take 10 giant leaps dance
The olly olly oxen free free free dance
The everyone can come to our heaven dance.

We have come to be danced
Where the kingdom’s collide
In the cathedral of flesh
To burn back into the light
To unravel, to play, to fly, to pray
To root in skin sanctuary
We have come to be danced
We have come.

~Jewel Mathieson

See you all very soon!


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